If you are looking to attend or exhibit the leading European Consumer Electronics shows, I would recommend that you attend more than one. Each has its strengths, drawbacks. and types of visitors. The four big ones are: CeBIT (Hannover), IFA (Berlin), Distree (Monaco), and MWC (Barcelona).
1) CeBIT: This is, and will always be my favorite, because I always find something interesting for my business, and because it is easier to walk around halls. Everything is on one floor, halls are easy to locate, and public transportation is fantastic and cheap. Hannover’s city center is very nice to walk around, and everything is nearby. One drawback about this show is that the organizers have so much going on, that it is difficult to concentrate on all the aspects. Exhibitors need more leads, so that they go back happy, after paying the booth fees. Another major drawback are the hotel prices. This is keeping many people from attending. 300 euros a night isn’t affordable for everyone.
2) IFA: The September IFA Berlin show is getting more popular since Samsung decided to exhibit, but the halls are spread out on various floors, which makes it more difficult for buyers to find you. It is very popular among end-users. Trade-only exhibitors are also happy, especially those who make (or sell) Apple product accessories. Berlin hotel prices are very reasonable, even if you book late.
3) Distree: This takes place in Monaco, and is a small show, but many exhibitors think it is worth exhibiting there. The organizers invite business purchasing managers of top European companies, to visit the show and the exhibitors.
4) MWC: The Mobile World Congress takes place every year in Barcelona. It is getting very popular recently, but there are some very big drawbacks. First, the ticket price, for un-invited guests is 700 euros, which keeps small business visitors (and end-users) who want to go and look around, out. The hotel prices are crazy high. Even with that, it is recommended for anything to do with the mobile phone business.