Leading tech brands at the IFA 2020 Special Edition
Held under strict health and safety regulations September 3 to 5, 2020 in Berlin, Germany, the IFA 2020 Special Edition brought together global tech brands with media and the trade for the first time since the start of the corona pandemic from September 3rd to 5th. The organizers are now looking forward to 2021, when IFA is to take place again as a full-scale event. This confidence is underlined by the great interest shown by exhibitors: According to Messe Berlin, more than 60 percent of the space has already been booked. In addition, a new cooperation with the Berlin Photo Week is intended to strengthen the show’s importancefor the photo and imaging industry.
Due to the corona pandemic, only a limited number of participants was allowed at the IFA 2020 Special Edition, and was consistently well below the maximum values permitted by the health authorities. A total of 6,100 participants met over three days in the exhibition areas IFA Global Press Conference, IFA Next meets Shift Mobility and the IFA Business, Retail and Meeting Lounges; almost 150 companies presented their products and innovations.
A further 1,350 virtual exhibitor presentations were (and still are) available online in the IFA Xtended Space and in the IFA Virtual Market Place. Although the IFA Xtended Space only opened its virtual doors a few days before the start of the IFA 2020 Special Edition, more than 78,000 people followed the IFA 2020 Special Edition online and watched the keynotes, press conferences, panel discussions and product demonstrations online by the last day of the event . A total of more than 262,000 views were generated during the three days of the event. The IFA Xtended Space will be available online until shortly before IFA 2021.
“The IFA 2020 Special Edition showed us the impressive power of innovation”, said Dr. Christian Göke, Chairman of the Management Board of Messe Berlin. “On a deeper level, it also showed us that the world needs these face-to-face meetings between industry, retail, consumers and media, and it is IFA that facilitated these crucial connections, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic.“
”The IFA 2020 Special Edition sent an important signal: ‘Tech is Back’, and the recovery and rebuilding of the industry starts here and now ”, added Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director. “Of course, we had to keep the numbers at this year’s IFA low, but it demonstrated the keen interest of everybody to meet in real life, and it sets us on the right track for a strong, full scale IFA 2021.” Heithecker added he was particularly happy that 60 percent of the exhibition space for the next IFA has already been booked: ”That is a new record. Never before have we had such great interest so early, so far before the start of the next IFA. ”
For the industry, Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics, the owner of IFA, praised the event, which was held under such difficult conditions: “First of all, my thanks go to our partner Messe Berlin for the conception and implementation of the IFA 2020 Special Edition. We were rewarded for our common courage with a successful event. The daily changing framework conditions caused by the corona presented additional challenges. The IFA 2020 Special Edition was the first hybrid event in our industry and it set standards. It brought people together, both in front of the screens and in person on the exhibition grounds in Berlin. The IFA played a very special role this year and it fulfilled it perfectly. For the global markets, at the right time in the run-up to the time with the highest turnover, the IFA set important impulses as an innovation platform with numerous innovations presentations. But as important as virtual components are in times of pandemics, they can never replace human contact. Our goal for IFA 2021 will be to combine the traditional strengths of IFA, many innovations with even more people in one place, with the experiences of IFA 2020 Special Edition to create a robust future format. ”
Photo und Imaging technologies and services are set to play a greater role at IFA 2021 than before. “Imaging has established itself as a significant trend in our lives that extends far beyond our private lives,” said Heithecker. “Imaging already plays a central role in medical technology, autonomous driving, AI and in many other areas.”
In 2021 Messe Berlin will start a new cooperation with Berlin Photo Week (BPW), a young event format for everyone who loves photos. “Combining photo sessions, community experiences, artistic and cultural inspiration,
with the creation of irretrievable moments and partnerships that reach far beyond photography and media presence, the Berlin Photo Week is destined to become the novel imaging event format at the center of public attention”, said Wolfgang Heinen from Berlin Photo Week.
According to the organizers, the Berlin Photo Week attracted more than 30,000 visitors at its premiere in 2019, mostly young photo enthusiasts, smartphone users, SLR fans and professionals. In 2021, the Berlin Photo Week is to begin before the IFA and last until the first day of the high-tech trade fair, allowing participants to attend both events.