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In Case You Missed It: Embedded World to Go Virtual Again in 2021

December 02, 2020 by Luke James

Embedded World, the industry’s major embedded systems trade fair, has cancelled its physical presence for 2021 in favour of moving to a digital-only format, following the continued uncertainty that has arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embedded World is the trade fair for embedded system technologies and is one of Europe’s largest annual technology events. Scheduled to take place over five days from the 1st through to the 5th of March in 2021, the event has recently been confirmed to be an online-only event (just as Arm’s Dev Summit conference turned virtual, and therefore COVID-friendly, a few months ago).


Embedded World 2021 Digital’s logo and typography. Image Credit: Embedded World.


Earlier this year, Embedded World made the news when questions arose about whether the conference would go ahead at all in late February 2020 amid the initial outbreak of COVID-19. On the 13th of February, however, the event’s organiser (NürnbergMesse) confirmed that the trade fair would go ahead as planned—and it did, despite other major events being cancelled and large vendors pulling out of other events, such as Mobile World Conference.

Indeed, Embedded World did suffer a huge amount of last-minute cancellations but many company executives took the opportunity to spend more quality time with customers and partners.

“Unfortunately, the current and evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted us to make a difficult decision: Embedded World 2021 will not take place as an in-person event in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre,” the organisers have said.


An Inevitable Outcome?

Despite so many people vying for a return to normality after what has been a long and hard year, it seems as though the COVID-19 pandemic, even despite the vaccines that are soon-to-be-released at the time of writing, may remain with us well into 2021. And as much as people may hope otherwise, those involved in planning and executing large physical events and conferences need to face the fact (and many already have): much of 2021 may be a write-off.

A photo from last year of the then-crowded Embedded World 2019 show floor. Image Credit: Embedded World.


After the Consumer Electronics Show announced that it would be moving to a virtual format in January 2021, the Embedded World Conference and the Electronic Displays Conference followed suit, announcing that they also will be going virtual together under the name ‘Embedded World 2021 Digital’.


The Digital Event

“Feedback from the embedded community has shown us that the desire to interact, network, and communicate with other professionals and embedded experts remains strong, even throughout this challenging time,” said Benedikt Weyerer, exhibitions director at Embedded World, NürnbergMesse, in a statement. By making this announcement so long before the event, the organisers have ample time to ensure that the digital event is a success.

The virtual format will include digital exhibitor forums and other interactive formats like company-specific networking tables and spaces for open discussions. The organisers have also said that there will be a ‘matchmaking’ event to ensure that interested parties find the right exhibitors and vice-versa.

Embedded World’s organisers expect the 2022 conference, taking place from the 15th through to the 17th of March that year, to go ahead in its normal physical format—here’s hoping that it does.

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