IFA 2012: Renewed growth despite economic situation

Product innovations drive IFA growth – market trends remain positive– wide-ranging list of entertainment events and supporting programme

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IFA is set to expand yet again. The display area at the world’s leading show for consumer electronics and home appliances now totals 142,200 m², a 1.4 per cent increase over last year, which broke all previous records. For the third year running all the available hall space has been booked, necessitating additional areas in passageways and on the outdoor display areas in order to accommodate the 1,439 exhibitors. Both regular attendees and first-time exhibitors have contributed to this growth in exhibition space.

“Despite the difficult market situation, which in many countries is dominated by the debt crisis, the early signs are that IFA 2012 will be a success. IFA has become an even bigger economic force and attraction“, said Dr. Rainer Hecker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik (gfu), the organisers of IFA.

Members of the media at the press conference/Photo: Messe Berlin
For the industry and the trade IFA is the year’s leading event, with orders in 2011 totalling more than 3.7 billion euros. IFA in Berlin sets the trend for Christmas trade in the consumer electronics and home appliances markets around the world and in every important aspect is the global number one for trade visitors from the industry, the trade and for the media too.

Market growth

Market researchers expect the 2012 world market for consumer electronics to grow by 1,100 billion dollars, an increase of 2 per cent. Dr. Rainer Hecker: “Innovation drives growth. It influences the markets, products, as well as sales channels and consumer behaviour. IFA mirrors the markets and developments as well as driving them forward.“

“We expect the world market for large-scale home appliances to grow by 178 billion dollars, an increase of 8 per cent“, said Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Trade Association ZVEI. “As the world’s most important event IFA furthers this growth. IFA has developed into an indispensable and global platform for the home appliances industry to exhibit its products.“

Market boost at the right time in the right place

Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin: “IFA is a global industry barometer. It reflects industry trends and the economy and provides an important boost for the markets. IFA takes place at just the right time of year for the industry and the trade to prepare for peak business around Christmas. More and more exhibitors are focusing on IFA to introduce their new products to the market.“

Jens Heithecker, Director of the Competence Centre Information & Communication of Messe Berlin GmbH; Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin; Miss IFA; Hans-Joachim Kamp, Member of the Supervisory Board of gfu (l.t.r.)/Photo: Messe Berlin

Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director: “The digital world is at home in Berlin. IFA is unique in gathering manufacturers, the trade and the general public at a venue that exhibits an unprecedented diversity of digital content.“

IFA supporting programme: international and diverse

IFA’s extensive supporting programme caters for every target audience. Detailed information on all the highlights of the IFA supporting programme can be found online.

Miss IFA 2012/Photo: Messe Berlin

The IFA International Keynotes are a global platform and major event for the expert audiences and international media attending IFA, where speakers deliver papers on up-to-the-minute topics, industry trends and strategies.

Media policy and network policy issues have become firmly established topics at IFA. The International Media Conference Berlin, medienwoche@IFA and medienpolitik@IFA target visitors to IFA and delegates at the International Media Conference alike and span a bridge between the consumer electronics industry, the media industry and media politics.

For technical enthusiasts visiting IFA and for journalists, experts and decision-makers from the industry and trade Hall 11.1 is a must-see stop on their tour of the fair: this is where IFA TecWatch displays the technologies and applications for the markets of today and tomorrow. One of the highlights at IFA TecWatch is a special show featuring the E-Haus, a model of a fully networked home environment.

Under the heading of Future 3.0 the TEDxBerlin Conference will provide an overview of the various developments in the digital society. Speakers will present their ideas for a society of the future, whether they are feasible, and the opportunities and risks involved with innovative forms of communication.

At IFA 2012 gfu and Messe Berlin and their partner associations BVT, VDE, ZVEH and ZVEI are launching a new event format – branchenforum@IFA . The topic kicking off branchenforum@IFA is ”From Smart Home to Smart Business”.

This year two recently introduced sections – the IFA iZone , which is all about smartphones and tablet PCs, and the I FA eLibrary , whose topic is the eBook market – have once again attracted keen interest. The increase in demand has led to them now occupying two additional halls.