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CeBIT 2011 fails to draw the crowds

CeBIT 2011 is now officially underway, with the venue's buildings filled to bursting with companies eager to show off their latest wares - but, sadly, this year appears to be a bit light on people to show those wares to.

While in previous years the first few days of Germany's biggest technology fair would be the most crowded, visitors are thin on the ground this year - and it's leaving some stands looking more than a little sparse.

It's true that it's a bit chilly here in Hanover, but that shouldn't be enough to put visitors off what has been, in previous years, one of the highlights of the IT event calendar. It's not as if there's not plenty to see, either: companies are showing off the very latest in tablets, smartphones, processors, motherboards, 3D displays, and gaming products.

The AMD stand, which is showing off the company's latest Fusion range of 'application processing units', is a case in point: aside from the staff, there's nobody to be seen.

Gigabyte, which is showcasing its high-performance graphics cards and motherboards, is equally devoid of life - although at least proving a bit more of a draw than AMD.

Not even the promise of a hands-on demo of the increasingly hyped 3DS hand-held console is drawing the crowds to the Nintendo stand - a shame, because it looks like the gaming giant has put quite a bit of effort into the design this year.

Even the eating areas, which would normally be full of slavering hacks and starving punters eager to grab some grub before braving the show floors are dead. But why is CeBIT not drawing its traditional crowds?

Perhaps it's just a matter of timing: coming so soon after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it could be that people are just tired out.

Even with Nvidia rolling out the big guns, in the form of the ever-so-slightly inappropriate booth babes, in order to draw the few visitors the show is attracting to its 3D shutter glasses demo, attendees are looking thin on the ground. Let's hope it picks up over the next few days. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.