The organisers of CeBIT have claimed that the show delivered a “positive message” to the industry, despite a 20% drop in visitors. With a claim of an increased number of trade visitors, CeBIT is effectively saying that the students, hangers-on and freebie hunters who bolstered the numbers in previous years were not worth attracting. Although the numbers are down, I’m sure most exhibitors at CeBIT would welcome a more focused show that attracts quality attendees, and let’s be honest, 400 000 visitors is a big number, even when spread across the Hannover Messe. A postive message? Well 20% down is hard to justify as positive, but maybe this recession will help the event deliver long-term benefits in terms of visitor quality to the more than 4000 exhibitors.