Press releases

LEARNTEC xChange networks around digital learning and work

From February 2 to 4, 2021, LEARNTEC - Europe's largest event for digital education in schools, universities and the workplace - will be offering free webinars on the digitization of the learning and working world. For three days, the online expert presentations will focus on topics such as user experience, workplace learning, smart learning and future skills, as well as the digitization of universities and schools, both in the morning and in the afternoon.

"The digital transformation of our everyday learning and working lives is more in demand than ever in the current era. Within the education industry, we recognize a high demand to exchange ideas on the developments and to network with each other," says René Naumann, Project Manager of LEARNTEC. "Due to the dynamic pandemic, we had decided early on in the fall to postpone LEARNTEC to June 22-24, 2021. However, with our online format LEARNTEC xChange, we would like to offer our community a platform for exchange and networking already now on our original event date. This will allow us to take a look at the status quo together and highlight new insights and trends, which we will explore in more depth at LEARNTEC in June."

Focus on exchange of experience and networking

Participants join the webinars via live stream on an event community platform. "LEARNTEC xChange places a special focus on the personal exchange of experiences and the networking of all virtual participants," says René Naumann. "Via chat function, participants can ask questions to the speakers at any time, who will answer them live. Networking is also offered by our matchmaking, which suggests industry colleagues with similar interests and with whom participants can network via chat and video call." In addition, attendees can start a technical discussion topic and, in keeping with the "Get Together" motto, exchange ideas with other attendees about it in a discussion room.

The entire LEARNTEC xChange program is available online at Registration is free of charge and takes place via the LEARNTEC ticket store.

The program at a glance

Tuesday, February 02, 2021, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: User Experience - Learning Experience from Content to LXP (German language)

Gernot Kühn (learning futurist at Microsoft Deutschland GmbH) will start with his presentation on "Learning while working! Or working to learn?". In subsequent roundtables, the focus will be on the learner. LEARNTEC exhibitors will exchange ideas with participants on methods, techniques and tools for the best digital learning experience. Afterwards, Dr. Thomas Staubitz (Hasso Plattner Institute) will present scalable learning using his learning platform.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Workplace Learning (English language)

Jane Hart, founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT) and a member of the LEARNTEC Congress Committee looks in the first part of her presentation at how learning is happening at work today and why a new approach to workplace learning is needed. Then, in the second part, she considers with webinar participants what the developments around Modern Workplace mean for the 2021 working year. Between the two presentations, attendees will again have the opportunity to participate in virtual roundtables with LEARNTEC exhibitors and network on the topic of Modern Workplace.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Future Learning - Smart Learning (German language)

In his presentation, digital expert Chris Böhler will examine current social and economic developments and the resulting learning trends. Afterwards, participants will once again have the opportunity to exchange ideas on future technologies in digital learning in virtual roundtables. Afterwards, Dr. Sirkka Freigang (Head of Smart Learning at Bosch.IO) will take a look at Smart Learning Environments and answer the question of how technology ecosystems from the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will change learning in the future.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: University teaching in the digital transformation (German language)

Prof. Dr. Constance Richter and Prof. Dr. Holger Schmidt (2020 teaching award winner at Aalen University) explain in their hands-on webinar how to successfully set up a virtual campus from scratch. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Christian Swertz (Institute of Education, University of Vienna) and Prof. Dr. Peter A. Henning (member of the LEARNTEC congress committee and professor of computer science at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences) will discuss the didactics of the day after tomorrow in a webtalk.

Thursday, February 04, 2021, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Future Skills & Future Roles (German language)

Industry expert Dr. Martin Attalah will give an expert presentation on the topic of Future Skills. In the subsequent roundtables, participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the future of learning and working and the skills required for this. Prof. Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (Professor of Education Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University) will then conclude the presentations on the topic of corporate learning with his webinar on "Future Skills - The Future of Learning".

Thursday, February 04, 2021, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Virtual Teaching and Learning Spaces for Schools (German language)

In the panel discussion "The [digital] room as the 3rd educator? - Square meters versus bandwidth", Dr. Anita Stangl, (Bündnis für Bildung e.V.), Dr. Angelika Jäkel (architect and book author), Alexander Bickel (Festo Didactic SE) and education editor Jürgen Luga will talk about the opportunities and challenges of virtual classrooms. Afterwards, students from Stuttgart Media University will present their project work on virtual learning spaces and learning settings in international comparison. The presentation will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Frank Thissen and Prof. Dr. Richard Stang (Stuttgart Media University).

New date for LEARNTEC 2021

The current course of the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the drastic measures for public life, which the Federal Government will put into effect with the Minister Presidents at the beginning of next week, are the reason that the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre is rescheduling LEARNTEC - Europe's largest event for digital education in schools, universities and professions - with foresight. The trade fair and the accompanying congress will now take place from 22 to 24 June 2021 at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Centre.

„In consultation with exhibitors, sponsors, advisory boards and associations, we have looked for dates in our calendar that are suitable for LEARNTEC in the competitive environment and are accepted by the industry," explains Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe. "The new scheduling should lead to improved planning security for all those involved. It is important to us that the confidence of exhibitors and visitors in the ability to plan their participation in trade fairs is maintained. Our early decision to reschedule LEARNTEC is in the interest of our customers. Exhibitors must now make concrete plans and invest in their participation in the trade fair. By rescheduling, we have placed the interests of our exhibitors at the center of our decision".

LEARNTEC was originally scheduled to take place from 2 to 4 February 2021 at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Centre.

Digital offers in the run-up to LEARNTEC

To provide the industry with an information and exchange platform in the run-up to the event, LEARNTEC has been offering digital formats since October. "The urgency of digitizing the world of work and learning has become even more apparent in recent months. In order to support the industry in these challenging times, we are organizing our virtual theme weeks, in which leading industry providers, education and digital experts provide information and discuss current issues," says Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe. The next theme week with webinars and discussions on the Digital University will take place from November 9 to 12, 2020, the theme week on Corporate Learning from November 23 to 27, 2020. All theme weeks take place exclusively in german language.

LEARNTEC also 2021 platform of the digital education industry
Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe (Credit: Messe Karlsruhe)
Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe (Credit: Messe Karlsruhe)

LEARNTEC - Europe's largest event for digital learning - will take place from 2 to 4 February 2021 at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Centre. Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe, talks in the interview about the importance of trade fairs and congresses for the industry right now and how the team is preparing for LEARNTEC in these dynamic times.

The Corona pandemic is hitting the trade fair industry particularly hard, with many events already cancelled or postponed. Will LEARNTEC take place?

Wirtz: Trade fairs and congresses are not considered to be major events and, according to the Corona Ordinance, trade fairs of the state government of Baden-Württemberg may be held again since September 1. The special regulation for the organization of trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses creates the legal basis for LEARNTEC. We are currently planning to hold LEARNTEC in February 2021. Trade fairs are a source of information, economic motor and innovation hub in one. They consistently advance the industry in order to be able to react even faster to trends and developments. The crisis in particular has shown that many have a great need for personal exchange. We are also receiving great encouragement from our exhibitors. More than 90 percent of the floor space at LEARNTEC 2021 has already been booked.

What protective and hygiene measures will you take?

We assume that the effects of the corona pandemic will continue to influence the trade fair next year. For each of our trade fairs, including LEARNTEC, we have developed an individual concept based on the current Corona Ordinance Trade Fairs, which fulfils all the requirements of hygiene, distance and tracing of infection chains that are known to us and can be implemented at our trade fairs. The safety and health of all participants is always our top priority. Distance regulations, the wearing of mouth-and-nose covers or the storage of data for contact tracing have already proven their worth in our everyday lives over the past few months. At our trade fairs and congresses, these regulations are also an important part of our hygiene concepts - in addition to the installation of numerous disinfection options, widespread corridors, instructions for coughing and sneezing labels and increased cleaning intervals. As far as the number of visitors is concerned, there is a clear guideline for us organizers, which is based on the event area. This access restriction allows for a comparable number of trade visitors to LEARNTEC as in the previous year. In order to ensure contact tracking, we will only offer online tickets.

Will LEARNTEC look the same as the years before?

Trade fairs have always changed from issue to issue. LEARNTEC has also changed every year. But the necessary change in times of Corona is more drastic than before. There will be no return to a time before Corona, that is clear. We also see the pandemic as a great opportunity. We are working on holistic concepts in all areas to ensure that we can continue to advance our events in the future. At LEARNTEC 2021, for example, we would like to integrate digital formats and enable interaction between the participants. For example, we will offer live streaming of the congress slots and virtual roundtables on a wide range of topics.

Establishing contacts and personal exchange are the success factors of a trade fair. How can you guarantee this to your exhibitors and visitors despite the current restrictions?

Trade fairs not only bring the industry together, but also advance it. They are especially important in these times to meet colleagues in person again, exchange knowledge, make contacts and gather ideas. This is also possible with distance or digitally. This is exactly what we would like to offer all participants at LEARNTEC and we are using more and more digital tools for this purpose. For example, we provide an extensive matchmaking service, which allows our visitors with similar interests to network with each other or to arrange video chats.

Which highlights at LEARNTEC 2021 can you already tell us?

As early as last fall - and thus well ahead of Corona - we decided to expand LEARNTEC 2021 by adding a third hall on the current mega-theme "digital school". There, our visitors will find all the offerings for the digital school in a focused manner. On the first day of the fair, we will also be offering "Salon21", a new, all-day specialist program on the school of the future. Our Future Lab will also be back at LEARNTEC 2021 and will present exciting perspectives on the digital future of learning. I am also very pleased that we will be offering our LEARNTEC theme weeks now, several months before the trade fair. From October to January, we will be holding webinars and digital discussion panels on our digital school, university and career areas.

How exactly can these theme weeks be imagined?

For one week, our channels will focus on a current topic - whether the digitization of schools, digital university teaching or New Work and New Learning. In free webinars with best-practice examples, a roundtable discussion with industry experts and a concluding summary session, participants can learn more and exchange ideas virtually. And we will also be networking with our community on our social media channels at the same time as the theme weeks.

The first theme week on the digital school will take place from October 05 to 09, 2020.

Actively shaping LEARNTEC 2021
The congress is dedicated to the trends and topics of digital education from business and science in practice-oriented lectures, workshops and discussion rounds
The congress is dedicated to the trends and topics of digital education from business and science in practice-oriented lectures, workshops and discussion rounds. (Credit: Messe Karlsruhe/ Behrendt und Rausch)

The Call for Papers for the congress of the 29th LEARNTEC - Europe's largest event for digital education - from 2 to 4 February 2021 is online. The congress is dedicated to the trends and topics of digital education from business and science in practice-oriented lectures, workshops and discussion rounds. Until 24 May 2020 interested parties have to submit online proposals for topics and speakers in German and English and thus actively participate in the congress.

"At the LEARNTEC Congress, we want to further promote the expansion of interactive and collaborative formats. Therefore, in addition to the classic specialist presentations, we are also pleased to receive submissions that include not only an exciting topic but also a short concept on collaborative formats that we can implement during the congress", say Sünne Eichler, Prof. Dr. Peter A. Henning, Jane Hart and Jürgen Luga from the LEARNTEC Congress Committee.

Topics range from agile methods to educational strategies

The call for papers for the LEARNTEC 2021 congress focuses on the topics of digital education and training. Submissions are welcome, for example, on learning content and its production, on networked learning, on education management or education projects. The LEARNTEC Congress Committee will compile essential parts of the congress programme from all submissions according to strict criteria. In addition, topics on digital education in schools and universities can be submitted and integrated into the programme of the open forums (school, university and AR/VR) at the fair.

All information on the topics and criteria of the Call for Papers and the submission documents are available on the LEARNTEC website.

LEARNTEC continues Impressively on Course toward the Future

This year’s LEARNTEC ended with record-breaking statistics that reconfirm its leading position as Europe’s foremost fair for digital education in Europe. With 411 exhibitors from 17 nations (2019: 341 exhibitors from 15 nations) – an increase of 24% – LEARNTEC 2020 presented itself as even more international, more innovative and larger than ever before. A record number of 15,600 visitors – 34% more than in 2019 – came to the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre to discover all about the latest trends in learning. The proportion of international trade visitors likewise increased by well over 33%.

“The past three days have clearly shown that digital learning is no longer just a future trend, but also an important growth market. LEARNTEC succeeds excellently in bringing supply and demand together, and the fair strongly attracts new visitors. LEARNTEC thus proves once again that it is Europe’s largest industry platform and trend workshop”, summarizes Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre. “The enormous increase in the numbers of exhibitors and visitors shows us that there is indeed a big demand for digital education. We have accordingly decided to open an additional third hall for the first time next year at LEARNTEC 2021.”

By the end of this year’s fair, more than 80% of the available stand space had already been booked for the upcoming LEARNTEC 2021, both by longstanding customers and by new companies that will be presenting themselves at LEARNTEC for the first time in 2021. Saber Romdhani, Digital Learning Consultant at Masterplan, says: “At LEARNTEC, we reach a keenly interested audience of specialists who are seeking and finding accurately targeted solutions. We were well taken care of, both prior to and during the event. We are taking many valuable lessons home with us from this year’s fair. And we have already booked our stand for 2021.” The excellent results of the annual event underline its top position as the most dynamically growing education fair: as recently as December 2019, the trade-fair publisher m+a conferred its “Project of the Year 2019” award on LEARNTEC as Germany’s most future-oriented trade fair.

Demand for digital school offerings is growing rapidly

The Digital Pact adopted by the German government is having a visible impact at LEARNTEC. The subject area on the digital school continued its strong growth trajectory this year, with approximately one third more exhibitors than last year presenting their products for the digital school of the future. “Digitalization in schools should not be reduced to technology alone, but must be viewed as a whole. We need to anchor the content in the curriculum, to integrate the new technical possibilities methodically and didactically, and to train teachers so they can make pedagogically meaningful use of digital media in their classrooms. LEARNTEC offers numerous examples of this”, says Dr. Susanne Eisenmann, Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Württemberg, who opened LEARNTEC 2020.

The exhibitors are likewise feeling the increased demand. Patrick Stecker, Sales Manager West at H + H Software, says: “We were able to hold even higher-quality talks in 2020. Even more than in previous years, we were able to meet our primary target group of school boards and local authorities at LEARNTEC. We owe this to various factors that come together here, including federal subsidies under the Digital Pact. LEARNTEC optimally brings together the interests of visitors and exhibitors. As far as I am concerned, LEARNTEC could continue for an additional ten days.”

Internationally top-class experts give lectures on trends in digital learning

The LEARNTEC Congress was also very well received. The selected keynotes were highlights at the very well-attended congress. Among the other speakers addressing the congress’ visitors were Irene Oksinoglu, Head of the Future Work initiative at OTTO; Christian Baudis, digital entrepreneur and futurist; and Reinhard Karger, company spokesman of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).“We are delighted that the programme was so well received by the congress’ visitors and that the quality of the sections in particular was appreciated”, summed up Sünne Eichler, Jane Hart and Prof. Dr. Peter A. Henning from the LEARNTEC Congress Committee.

Discover digital learning worlds with AR/VR

LEARNTEC again devoted itself to virtual realities in 2020. Moreover, collaboration with the First German Virtual Reality (VR) Association underwent further intensification in 2019. Exhibitors in the AR/VR Area again presented their latest technologies, including the Microsoft HoloLens. Ralf Hoffmann, District Managing Director of the DRK Kreisverband Herford-Stadt e.V., expressed his enthusiasm about the event: “LEARNTEC is both a family get-together and a sharing of ideas among professionals. We are delighted with the terrific atmosphere and the interested audience. Here we can palpably feel that analogue and digital come together like two pieces of the same puzzle: they complement each other wonderfully well at this trade fair. Digital learning supports analogue and offers new opportunities to share experiences and gain added value. Anyone who wants to experience what the future will be tomorrow simply must come to Karlsruhe today.”

The next LEARNTEC will take place at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 2 to 4 February 2021.

Additional comments by exhibitors

Björn Carstensen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Lemon Systems GmbH: “The mix is absolutely right. At LEARNTEC, we find the target group that we need: decision-makers from medium-sized businesses, large corporations and universities. And the digital approach, moving away from the focus on didactics, precisely corresponds to the developments in the industry and is well presented here.”

Onno Reiners, Head of the Compliance Business Unit at M.I.T e-Solutions GmbH: “It is clearly noticeable that this trade fair is in experiencing an upward trend. We welcomed a large number of visitors to our stand and the quality of the contacts again increased significantly this year.”

Dr. Maria Walther, Managing Director at Walther Learning Solutions: “This is our first time at LEARNTEC and we are very positively surprised. We had very good discussions and we hosted a good mix of visitors at our stand – from trade visitors to e-learning beginners, whom we have been accompanying from the very beginning. We can clearly see that there is a strong demand for digital education and that interest in it has grown markedly.”

Christian Hanster, Managing Director at endoo: “The theoretical part of the Digital Pact is now being implemented. All participants are beginning to really think about the topic in greater depth. This is our third time at LEARNTEC and we have seen that the digital-school section has grown with each successive year. The audience’s interest is likewise growing progressively stronger. We had inspiring discussions here. All in all, LEARNTEC has a very good profile.”

Jörg Schmalhofer, Key Account Manager B2B at the Westermann Group: “We were at LEARNTEC for the third time in 2020. And we also presented ourselves for the first time in Hall 1, where we had very high visitor frequency and many good discussions. We will surely return in 2021.”

Frank Draing, Publishing Manager at Dr.-Ing. Paul Christiani GmbH & Co. KG: “The number of visitors continues to increase and there was plenty of activity at our stand. We are satisfied with the number of discussions. And the process of setting up the stand worked wonderfully well.”

Sophie Labralette, Marketing Manager DACH at saba: “Compared to last year, LEARNTEC 2020 was definitely better attended. We were also able to hold significantly higher-quality discussions this year.”