The IFA Global Press Conference Was Packed with Announcements
A day after numerous brands were given the opportunity to preview their plans for IFA 2019, the attention shifted to IFA itself. The 2019 IFA Global Press Conference was absolutely jam packed with economic data and partnership announcements, as well as the first two keynote speakers for IFA 2019.
During the press conference, Messe Berlin CEO Dr. Christian Göke highlighted numerous reasons why the international event has experienced the continued growth and success that it has. Key among those reasons is IFA’s strong focus on the idea of “coinnovation.”
“No industry operates in isolation, but only at IFA can you see the true breadth of it, because coinnovation is not just electronics companies competing with each other,” he said. “Tomorrow’s Smart Homes are being innovated today by companies from the consumer electronics sector, health and wellness, white goods and many more … and the only place where you can see them all come together is IFA Berlin.”
The show last year put up significant figures in terms of overall attendance, international representation, and the like. IFA 2018 saw 244,055 attendees walk through the gates of the Messe Berlin campus, including 152,479 trade visitors from 129 countries. They had the chance to walk some 280,000 square meters of exhibit space (3.01 million square feet), where they saw 1,814 exhibitors from 49 different countries and territories. Order volume at the show grew as well, totaling more than €4.7 billion ($5.25 billion USD).
As IFA itself continues to remain a strong platform for the consumer technology and home appliances market, those industries themselves experienced steady economic performance, year-over-year, according to economic data presented by Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the supervisory board of gfu—the organizers and parent association of IFA.
“In 2018 the global market of Technical Consumer Goods (TGC) generated a turnover of more than one trillion Euros for the first time, an increase of 3.3 percent,” he reported. “For 2019 we again expect an increase in turnover of 1 percent up to €1.052 trillion. Especially Europe, North America, Middle East and Africa are growth markets. For consumer electronics, we forecast a stable development, while home appliances are expected to grow again.”
Global Audio Partner
One of the first major partnership announcements of there IFA Global Press Conference was the introduction of Sennheiser as the IFA Global Audio Partner. For the announcement, IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker brought on stage Sennheiser’s Co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.
Through the partnership, Sennheiser will become the official audio solutions and technical support provider for IFA at the September show. Additionally the brand will have an expanded presence at IFA’s global events, starting with CE China right after IFA in mid-September.
“With a continuously growing market in China, Sennheiser is looking forward to participating in CE China and the opportunities we can leverage in that vibrant environment,” Dr. Sennheiser said. “At IFA in Berlin we are especially excited to become part of IFA Next, where we will demonstrate our AMBEO applications in the field of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – one of the trend topics for this year’s IFA.”
A Showcase for Japan
Another major partnership announcement came in the form of IFA’s first country partner for the IFA NEXT exhibit area at IFA 2019. The timing of the announcement was perfect for the country, which is set to host its first ever G20 summit in late June.
For Japan, the partnership will give the country the opportunity to place startups and research centers in prime position to showcase their technological achievements on a global stage. During his portion of the program, Keita Nishiyama, METI, Director-General, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, detailed how Japan has identified and is quickly moving from a “Society 3.0” that was focused on industry, to “Society 5.0,” which will result in the concept of the truly smart city to flourish.
“We partner with Japan because we want to give our visitors a deep dive into a highly innovative industry hub, including entrepreneurs and visionary speakers, and a start-up world like never before,” Dr. Göke said.