Since COVID 19, IFA 2020 to be the first major physical tech event

Having been to IFA Global Press conference for a decade and interacted with the brilliant duo - Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin and Jens Heithecker, the Executive Director of IFA Berlin this strategy to make sure IFA will happen albeit with attendee limits was truly outstanding and I am sure other global trade shows in almost every field will study and try to follow this patternbut naturally with some variations feels Chandragupta Amritkar.

Germany has banned any events with more than 5,000 participants from taking place in the country until at least October 24th. That meant most trade shows in Germany had to be canceled and so was IFA – one of the world’s largest tech events for consumer electronics and home appliances. But then during a livestream with the media Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director announced that though IFA 2020 physical event was canceled due to the pandemic, the event will still take place physicallybut with a maximum of just 1,000 attendees to each section of the four stand-alone events per day.

IFA Berlin reinvents itself for 2020 as a three-day event

IFA has been given the go-ahead to take place in 2020 as a real-life event in Berlin, based on a special concept that puts health and safety first. Taking place over just three days – from 3 to 5 September – this year’s IFA 2020 Special Edition falls well within the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The invite-only event will put strict limits on the number of attendees and focus on IFA’s four global core functions, which are:

  • an innovation showcase for brands;
  • a platform for cutting-edge technologies;
  • a sourcing event for OEMs and ODMs; and
  • a marketplace where retailers and brands can come together.

IFA 2020 will be the first opportunity for the consumer electronics and home appliances industries to present new products and services directly to media and – by extension – to consumers and trade. The event also comes at a crucial moment for brands, manufacturers and retailers around the world, just ahead of the year’s most important shopping season stretching from Black Friday and Singles Day to Cyber Monday, Christmas and beyond.

Jens Heithecker, the Executive Director of IFA Berlin, said: “After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase its innovation, so that it can recover and rebound. The recovery of our industry starts here at IFA Berlin.” While virtual events were useful, they were “missing the immediacy, hands-on experience and human connections that make events like IFA Berlin so incredibly useful” Heithecker said.

The concept for IFA 2020 was developed in close collaboration with public health authorities in Germany to ensure the health and safety of all participants. The organizers will make sure that social distancing, careful crowd control and other effective public hygiene measures are all in place.

As a result, IFA 2020 will not be open to the public, but run as an invitation-only event.

Four Events, One IFA

This year’s IFA will effectively be run as four stand-alone events, with not more than 1,000 attendees for each event per day. While the organizers hope that the overall public health situation will improve between now and September, they have decided to err on the side of caution and meet the strictest safety standards possible.

The four IFA 2020 events are:

1. IFA Global Press Conference

IFA has moved its Global Press Conference, which usually takes place in April, to September and turned it into this year’s Global Showcase for Innovation and Technology.

The Global Press Conference will invite around 800 journalists covering 50+ countries to Berlin, so brands and manufacturers will be able to show journalists their latest products and devices.All keynotes and company press conferences will take place on just two or three keynote stages curated by IFA. This keeps the numbers down for the on-site production staff and ensures that the highest hygiene standards are observed both on stage and in the seating area for media.In addition to company press conferences, industry partners will have the chance to create smart company and brand presentations for interviews and further talks with media representatives.For journalists, this will be the most efficient way this year yet to cover the technology stories their audiences are interested in; it’s their first opportunity after the beginning of the pandemic to see all of this year’s innovation and new products all in one place, and they can organize face-to-face interviews with the spokespeople for brands.

The opening keynote for this year’s IFA will be delivered by Cristiano Amon, the President of Qualcomm, a company that is the undisputed global leader in mobile connectivity.

Qualcomm’s president said he is looking forward to giving the keynote and addressing the importance of connectivity during these unprecedented times. He will speak about the company’s latest developments in 5G, AI and other key technologies that will drive the future of the Internet and deliver the devices and capabilities the world needs.

2. IFA NEXT meets IFA SHIFT Mobility

For this year only, IFA will combine its two innovation platforms – IFA Next and SHIFT Mobility – for an exclusive live event for the international tech community. The event will bring together technology start-ups and companies in the connected mobility sector, to help them get the much-needed lifeblood of publicity and industry connections. For innovators, disruptors, tech journalists and digital influencers interested in the cutting edge of technology, this will be the year’s most important event to attend.

3. IFA Global Markets

During the past three years, IFA Global Markets has grown to become Europe’s largest sourcing show for OEMs and ODMs. Now it will be this year’s first dedicated sourcing show in the world. The message from IFA’s industry partners has been clear: the industry needs a sourcing show to repair and restructure its supply chains hit by the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. IFA Business, Retail & Meeting Lounges

Every year, IFA Berlin is the most important marketplace for consumer electronics and home appliances. In 2019, for example, brands and retailers struck deals worth more than 4.7 billion euro during the event in Berlin.

While the pandemic will make it impossible to replicate this level of deal-making and networking, IFA Berlin will curate the IFA Business, Retail & Meeting Lounges to give brands and manufacturers the much-needed opportunity to meet retailers in a safe and efficient manner ahead of the year’s all-important shopping season.

Virtual IFA Experience

The organizers know that interest in attending IFA 2020 will far outstrip the available places, while some people may still be subject to travel restrictions. That’s why IFA will offer everybody virtual opportunities to be part of the IFA Berlin experience.

Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, the organizer of IFA, said: “IFA Berlin is the most important event for the consumer electronics and home appliances industry. These past few weeks, we have worked very closely with the IFA team to develop a concept that gives all our industry partners the platform they need to talk about their innovations.”

Some of the exhibitors giving their views included Chengdong (Richard) Yu, CEO Huawei, Michael Maier, Fitbit Inc., CEO | Cluster Manager Central Europe and Daniel and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, Co-CEOs, Sennheiser.

“Huawei has been participating IFA for 9 years. It has been an excellent platform for Huawei to promote our products and strategies as well as meeting friends around the world. We look forward to joining the event in the new form,” said Chengdong (Richard) Yu, CEO Huawei

“A really surprising and inspiring IFA concept at the right time. We are currently examining how we can best use these ideas for Fitbit’s global ambitions. It is more important than ever to provide positive impulses for our industry, media and trade,” said Michael Maier, Fitbit Inc., CEO | Cluster Manager Central Europe.

“IFA has been one of the most important touchpoints for Sennheiser to engage with our industry family, press and customers for many years. In a time in which exchange of ideas and positive impulses are more important than ever, we are very pleased to see such a creative approach to bring the spirit of IFA to life in 2020. We are currently looking into how we can best leverage these solutions for Sennheiser,” said Daniel and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, Co-CEOs, Sennheiser.

Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin, commented: “Our IFA team really has pulled out the stops for this one. I’m incredibly proud of how they have tackled this challenge and come up with a solution for IFA 2020.”

IFA Berlin will be open to invited participants from 3 to 5 September 2020 and will be held at Messe Berlin.

CE China: Gears up for September

Consumer Electronics China (CE China), a global IFA event is positioned as one of the most important business shows for consumer electronics and home appliances solutions in China. While COVID is expected to subdue by September, the CE China team is proceeding as planned for the event from September, 24 – 26.

At this year’s edition, CE China will welcome new exhibitors like the well-known TV brand Sichuan Changhong Elextronics and household appliance manufacturer Whirlpool (China) as well as long time partners like Cuori Electrical Appliances, Guangdong Galanz and Vatti Corporation Limited, just to name a few.

CE China and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) has agreed on an in–depth cooperation. The aim is to help exhibitors to create new business opportunities, activate the market after the shutdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19, connecting international markets, promoting international business exchanges and shaping a bigger market for home appliance and consumer electronics in China.

CE Summit powered by IDG Asia
The International Consumer Electronics Summit (CE Summit) will be hosted by the Guangzhou Municipal Government and International Data (Asia) Group (IDG Asia) and is part of the CE China program. The CE Summit is a conference where new ideas, concepts, technologies and products are shared in order to push the consumer electronics industry more globally.

CE China is scheduled to be held from 24 – 26 September 2020 in Guangzhou at Poly World Trade Center Expo