The world's largest technology fair is opening its doors to visitors this Thursday. Over half a million people are expected to visit the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany during the next week - including us here at Tech.co.uk.
We'll be wearing our most comfortable shoes to help us make our way through no less than 25 show halls, plus a few extra pavilions, conference rooms, meeting places and open spaces - all in aid of getting you the breaking news as it happens at the show.
We've got interviews lined up with the heads of the Blu-ray Disc Association ; we'll be getting some answers out of Sony about its forthcoming PlayStation 3 games console; and we have zillions of press conferences and meeting slots booked in with key industry figures and companies, including Toshiba , SanDisk , Creative , Dolby and Sharp .
The trends at CeBIT this year, as we see it, seem to be all about wireless broadband, VoIP telephony and satellite navigation. But there are bound to be lots of exciting products around, including the 108-inch LCD TV which Sharp is launching. CeBIT will also showcase the latest notebooks, smartphones, UMPCs and displays.
CeBIT has had a bit of bad press lately, as it recently announced it will be one day shorter as of next year. Visitor numbers have dropped dramatically, to about 424,000 in 2006 from a peak of 850,000 in 2001. Moreover, big names such as Lenovo , Motorola and Nokia have all announced in recent months that they will not pay for exhibition stands this year.
From 2008 onwards, the show will be split into three key areas based on the types of attendees: professional users, public workers, and 'digital lifestyle' retailers and distributors. Companies will also show off solutions rather than products.
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