Samsung has announced that it will not be attending the IFA technology fair in Germany in September due to the ongoing corona virus pandemic. Instead, it is planned to hold a digital event in the same month.
The decision, which Samsung confirmed in an email to Digital Trends, will hit the organizer of the largest tech show outside Europe after a recent announcement of a show revision specifically designed to encourage companies to participate .
The measures include the closing of this year's event to the public, with only media representatives and exhibitors being admitted. During the three-day event, participants are limited to a maximum of 1,000 people per day. Such restrictions, according to the IFA, make it easier for people to comply with the rules for social distance and also help prevent locations from becoming overcrowded across the site.
Samsung has been participating in the Berlin event regularly since 1991, presenting its latest products. At the IFA last year, the Korean company presented its newly designed Galaxy Fold smartphone and caught our attention even with its smallest 8K TV to date (still 55 inches!).
The IFA will now wait and see whether other major players will withdraw from Event 2020 in the coming weeks. If more companies follow in Samsung's footsteps and decide that attending the event is still not safe, IFA 2020 could be canceled. The event is still over two months away, but since many countries are still grappling with the first wave of coronavirus infections and others are concerned about a second, the situation could prove too uncertain for other technology companies to participate to commit to the event in September. European Union travel bans, which currently apply to trips abroad from the U.S. and Russia, among others, could ultimately seal the fate of the show, with everything depending on how the pandemic develops.
If IFA 2020 falls, it won't be the first major show to be canceled this way. The Spanish Mobile World Congress, the SXSW in Austin and the E3 in Los Angeles have been canceled in the past few months after several participants overheard fears of corona viruses.