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CeBIT (Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik; German for "Centre of Office and Information technology") is the world's largest computer expo. It is held each spring on the world's largest fairground in Hanover, Germany, and is a barometer of the state of the art in information technology. With an exhibition area of roughly 450,000 m² (5 million ft²) and up to 700,000 visitors, it is larger than COMPUTEX and the no-longer held COMDEX. By 2007 the CeBIT expo attendance had shrunk to 'more than 200,000' from those all-time highs,[1] it was held from 15 March to 21 March 2007. The 2008 expo dates were 4 March to 9 March 2008, with a notable event being the police raids of 51 exhibitors for patent infringement,[2] something that is traditionally not a criminal matter in most jurisdictions, and is likely to further affect attendance figures in the future. The CeBIT is organized by Deutsche Messe AG.[3] The 2010 expo was held from 2 to 6 March 2010, the 2011 edition will be from 1 to 5 March.



CeBIT was traditionally the computing part of the Hanover Fair, a big industry trade show held every year. It was first established in 1970, with the opening of the Hanover fairground's new Hall 1, then the largest exhibition hall in the world.[4] However, in the 1980s the information technology and telecommunications part was straining the resources of the industry fair so much that it was given a separate trade show starting 1986, held four weeks earlier than the main Hanover Fair.

As CeBIT continued to grow quickly and was becoming too big on its own, it was decided to concentrate on the professional market, while the home and entertainment market was given a separate show, CeBIT Home, during summer, planned to be biennial. However, after being held twice (in 1996 and 1998), the 2000 CeBIT Home (supposed to be held in Leipzig due to the Expo 2000 being held at the time in Hanover) was cancelled and the project was abandoned.

Worldwide CeBIT shows

Since 1999 the CeBIT sponsor Deutsche Messe AG ("German Trade Show, Inc.") has organized trade shows outside of Germany bearing the CeBIT name:

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