Why there is no Digital Festival in Zurich this year

The Digital Festival, which would have taken place in Zurich-Oerlikon in the fall, is taking a break this year. MCH Swiss Exhibition made this decision "after weighing up various factors". This is what the CEO of MCH Exhibitions & Events Roman Imgrüth has to say about the cancellation.

Roman Imgrüth is CEO of MCH Exhibitions & Events. (Image: zVg.)

The MCH Group took over the Digital Festival in 2021. How has the event developed since then?

Roman Imgrüth: Since the takeover, we have continuously developed the Digital Festival. We have diversified the program and introduced innovative formats to appeal to a broader audience and promote exchange between industry experts and participants. The high number of participants and positive feedback reflect the successful implementation of new ideas and partners.

At the Digital Festival 2023, there was nothing to suggest that the event would be difficult or that it would no longer take place in 2024. What has changed since then?

The Digital Festival 2023 was a success. Since then, however, various external factors such as economic uncertainties and changing market conditions have led to a reassessment of the event and ultimately to the decision to suspend the Digital Festival for the time being.

This year there will be no astonished eyes at the Digital Festival in Zurich. It has been canceled. (Image: zVg.)

What are the specific reasons for canceling the Digital Festival 2024?

The decision to cancel the Digital Festival 2024 is based on several factors. The current economic uncertainties have led to a decline in sponsor and participant registrations. A comprehensive market analysis has also confirmed that this pause is necessary in order to revise the concept and structure of the festival and adapt it to the new conditions.

Industry insiders suspect that the Digital Festival has lost its "mojo", its magic, following the takeover by the MCH Group. What do you think?

This is certainly a very subjective assessment. The feedback from many participants and partners was always positive at the respective events. However, feedback and critical feedback are of course essential for the further development of our events. After each event, it is analyzed in detail and optimizations and improvements are evaluated and implemented.

How do you intend to revive the Digital Festival in 2025 after a two-year break? What changes will you make to the concept?

We are planning a comprehensive realignment of the Digital Festival for 2025. On the one hand, we will sharpen the content and focus even more strongly on current and forward-looking topics relating to digitalization, hacking and innovation. On the other hand, we are planning to introduce more interactive formats such as workshops, hackathons and discussion panels to promote exchange and practical learning. We are also aiming for stronger partnerships with industry leaders, universities and start-ups to strengthen the innovative spirit of the event.


How do you rate the chances of a national event on digitalization, hacking, etc. being established in Switzerland in the long term?

We are confident that the Digital Festival can establish itself as a national event for digitalization, hacking and related topics in Switzerland in the long term. Our goal with the Digital Festival is to create a central platform for the exchange and promotion of digital innovation. Switzerland offers an excellent environment for this, with a strong culture of innovation and a constantly growing tech community. Our task will be to design the event in such a way that it achieves international relevance and, above all, meets the needs of this community. (Marc Landis/jor)

The interview first appeared in Netzwoche.

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