IFA 2019 Breaks Records Once Again
Foto: Goran Matošević - Tomich Productions
IFA Berlin has turned out to be another success story with a new set of records. The technology show had nearly 2,000 exhibitors, 245,000 visitors, and a new all-time high for international attendance, with more than 50 percent of trade visitors coming from abroad. Three big technology trends dominated IFA across both consumer electronics and home appliances: voice, artificial intelligence and connectivity, especially given the rapid roll-out of high-speed, high bandwidth 5G mobile networks.
Global media attendance has gone up yet again. The journalists coming to Berlin work for media organisations covering 160 countries around the world. This shows how important IFA is in the calendar for technology and lifestyle journalists. This year, IFA attracted some 2.800 international journalists from around the world.
The CEO of Messe Berlin Christian Göke said IFA had once again shown the "power of co-innovation, where inventors in different sectors and industries inspire each other." He warned that trade wars, trade barriers and political barriers would harm consumers not just by making products more expensive, but by slowing down innovation itself.
Picking up a theme developed in one of IFA’s most famous keynotes, by Albert Einstein in 1930, Göke said that in today’s day and age Einstein would probably "call on the best and the brightest minds in the world, whoever they are, and wherever they live, whichever country they call their home, to pool their knowledge and co-innovate to create a better world.”
Two IFA Keynotes, by Huawei CEO Richard Yu and Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon, focused on how 5G-connectivity can push the power of AI to the very edge of computing – in the devices, into vehicles and into industrial applications. Anthony Wood, the CEO of Roku, used his keynote to outline his vision of how online streaming will dominate the TV experience, and announced his company’s expansion to the UK, with plans to move to other European countries as well. Hakan Bulgurlu, the CEO of Arçelik, dedicated his keynote to demanding industry action against climate change and plastic waste.
IFA’s innovation hub, IFA NEXT, also set new records with more start-ups and innovation leaders than ever spread across two halls, alongside research institutes from countries like Germany, Japan and Korea. This year, IFA NEXT hosted Japan as its first Global Innovation Partner country; the Japan pavilion was showcasing the newest ideas and innovations for how machines and humans can interact.
IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker was hugely impressed by the level of innovation: "As the number of exhibitors has grown, so did the quality and quantity of innovations as well as the number of product premieres that were shown here in Berlin for the first time."
SHIFT, the two-day convention on how new technologies are shaping the Future of Mobility, has grown strongly compared to the previous year. Among the speakers were top executives from industry giants and mobility pioneers. IFA Global Markets, exclusively accessible to trade visitors, suppliers, manufacturers and OEMs/ODMs, established itself as a significant part of IFA.
Dirk Koslowski, IFA Director, states: "IFA Global Markets has been growing continuously for four years now. It is thus the leading platform in Europe for the supplier industry and has firmly established its position as the largest sourcing show in Europe." Covering 20,000 square meters, the B2B marketplace IFA Global Markets was once again fully booked.