Total visitors more than double at this year’s BEYOND

Important business deals

Sold out forums and events

Sophia the Robot stole the show

This year’s BEYOND (25-27 April) exceeded expectations, more than doubling its total number of visitors, while increasing its trade visitors compared to last year’s event. In fact, there was a significant increase in the number of both Greek and foreign trade visitors, who came from countries such as Austria, Belgium, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, USA, Israel, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Latvia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Serbia.

Besides improving quantitative characteristics, the qualitative enhancement of the International Digital Transformation, Technology, and Innovation Exhibition was recognised by exhibitors and visitors, while during the three-day period important business deals were made. After all, there were almost 500 scheduled business meetings in the context of the Matchmaking Event by FING and Enterprise Europe Network, with more than 200 participants from Greece and 8 other countries. The Career Day, organised by the Public Employment Service, with 41 purely tech companies and more than 500 job openings, also drew great interest.

The major challenge of Artificial Intelligence set the tone at this year’s BEYOND and was the theme of all its events, with the AI FORUM and the TECHNOLOGY FORUM being typical examples and drawing crowds of people. All BEYOND events were equally successful, on all 5 stages of the exhibition, which were constantly filled with creative people and innovative ideas. From events on AI

Health, AI in Agriculture, AI in Creativity and Workshops by major enterprises on the Digital Work Card, to the Leadership Dialogue, the Conference of Regions of Greece and the Congress of General Secretaries of ‘Kleisthenes’ Local Governments, this year’s BEYOND had it all. In total, there were 440 Greek and foreign speakers.

In fact, the Ministerial Leadership Dialogue evolved into an informal ministerial meeting, attended by ministers and representatives of governments from the Balkans, south-eastern, Europe and Turkey, as well as representatives of international organisations such as the Council of Europe, ENISA, and the ITU. In particular, the Greek Minister for Digital Governance, Mr Dimitris Papastergiou, the Minister of Industry and Technology of Turkey, Mr Mehmet Fatih Kacir, the Minister of Education, Science and Innovation of Montenegro, Ms Angelica Jaksic-Stojanovic, the Deputy Minister of Interior of Albania, Ms Romina Kuko, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Technology of Serbia, Mr Miroslav Trajanovic, the Secretary General of the Croatian Ministry of Regional Development, Ms Spomenka Djuric, and Secretary General, Committee on Artificial Intelligence, Council of Europe, Mr Kristian Bartolin participated in the ministerial dialogue.

The increased presence of young people, especially university students, at this year’s event was particularly encouraging. Sophia the Robot, the world’s best-known AI robot, was also very popular, with visitors asking her all sorts of questions and rushing to be photographed beside her. Sophia, stole the show, appeared on the main stage of the pavilion of the Region of Central Macedonia and had a discussion with the Regional Governor, Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and the Head of the National Cybersecurity Authority, Mr Michalis Bletsas, while it also participated in panels of the AI FORUM.

BEYOND brought together 275 direct and indirect exhibitors from 22 countries, and proved, more than ever before, that it is an ideal platform for international business leaders, pioneering thinkers, world-class scientists, and anyone active in consumer technologies. It was a springboard for small and large companies from all over the world to present their innovative products and services.

This year, the Ministry of Digital Governance participated in the exhibition with the entirety of its political leadership, the Independent Public Revenue Authority, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Regions of Central Macedonia, Crete, Central Greece, and Epirus, the CERTH, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, TEE, Democritus University of Thrace, International Hellenic University, Ionian University, University of Peloponnese, the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, University of Western Macedonia, University of Ioannina, and City College.

BEYOND was organised by TIF-HELEXPO, Be-Best, and Industry Disruptors Game Changers (IDGC), and the co-organisers comprise of the Ministry of Digital Governance, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and it was being held under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior (Sector of Macedonia-Thrace), the Ministry of Tourism, and the ‘Kleisthenis’ Panhellenic Union of General Secretaries of Local Government.


BEYOND was supported by SEPE (Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises), SEPVE (Association of Information Technology Companies of Northern Greece), and SEKEE (Hellenic Association of Innovative Applications Companies), HETIA (Hellenic Emerging Technologies Industry Association), AIC, SOFTONE, and AXAPTA MASTERS.