Hannover. TWENTY2X, the new digital technology show for SMEs and startups, premieres from 17 to 19 March 2020 at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Hannover, Germany. In the following interview, Jutta Jakobi, who is Global Director Digital Business at Deutsche Messe and responsible for TWENTY2X, talks about Deutsche Messe's latest high-tech trade show.

Ms. Jakobi, Deutsche Messe is launching TWENTY2X. What makes this new digital technology show special?

TWENTY2X will bring together IT decision makers from startups and small and medium companies (SMEs) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are launching the show because we see a real need for a platform for business IT technologies and applications that drive digital transformation in the SME sector. TWENTY2X is an exhibition, a conference and a networking event all in one. Its key focus themes are business management, security solutions, new tech and startups, new work, sourcing services and public administration. As you will note, these themes cover all the basics that businesses need in order to function properly. They also provide an excellent framework for coverage of all the latest trends that are relevant to SMEs.

What does "TWENTY2X" stand for?

The name is derived from the show's first year of operation, 2020. It also alludes to the show's role as a window on future-defining applications and scenarios what will be relevant for IT managers next year and beyond. The underlying idea is that IT will continue to develop exponentially. For instance, who would have thought just 10 years ago that automation and artificial intelligence would become such concrete realities so quickly? And concepts like "New Work" weren't even on the radar. TWENTY2X is all about giving business and IT executives inspiring ideas and concrete guidance.

Why would Deutsche Messe create a new digital show so soon after discontinuing CEBIT?

If we want to maintain a strong SME sector as the backbone of our economy and a key pillar of our global competitiveness, then we can't afford to take our eyes off a key trend like digitalization. There currently is no cross-sector trade show that caters for this specific target group. With TWENTY2X, we are providing a completely new platform and a unique opportunity for SMEs to quickly and efficiently gain an overview of providers with IT solutions designed specifically for their sector. If there's one thing we know, it's that the SME sector has been rising to the occasion and taking its rightful place in the world of open collaboration and innovation. And that's something we want to help nurture.

What makes TWENTY2X different from CEBIT?

We are not aiming to create another CEBIT. TWENTY2X is focused on the core areas of business IT solutions and on decision makers from SMEs. What's more, the show will span only two exhibition halls, three workdays and six display categories, which makes it very compact and easy to navigate. It's all about helping decision-makers quickly find what they need – just the essentials, no bells and whistles. TWENTY2X will be 100 percent B2B, and is being staged with the support of partners whose focus is also on SMEs and startups and whose B2B initiatives address the same topics. Among them are Germany's Federal Association of SME IT Companies (BITMi), the Association of the Internet Industry (eco), the German IT Users Federation (VOICE) and the German Startups Association (BVDS).

Further information about the TWENTY2X show is available online at www.TWENTY2X.de.