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IFA 2020 in Berlin will still go on — just not as you know it

Update: Organizers have confirmed that IFA will go on, albeit with major revamps to the show’s format. Read our full story for all of the details.

IFA, the largest consumer electronics conference outside of the U.S., is not going forward as planned in Berlin this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Organizers announced that the in-person trade show has been canned thanks to a government edict banning all events of more than 5,000 participants to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, officially known as COVID-19.

But, IFA’s organizers said the trade show will still be held with an “innovative new concept.”

IFA 2019 logo in front of building | What to expect
The IFA conference in 2019. IFA

“We expected this development given the constantly evolving pandemic and appreciate that we have now a clear regulatory framework that enables us, our partner Messe Berlin, and our exhibitors to make detailed plans for IFA 2020,” said Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the Supervisory Board of IFA co-organizer gfu Consumer und Home Electronics.

The conference said planning is “well advanced” to allow IFA to still showcase new tech and let companies and media outlets interact. How the trade show will be held has yet to be announced.

IFA is far from the first major tech conference to be canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Tech giants including Facebook and Google have canceled in-person events for the coming months and even major conventions like San Diego Comic-Con have been forced to postpone or outright ditch their plans.

For the latest updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak, visit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 page.

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