Global Trends networking, wearables, digital TV are driving the market

Industry and retailers see good prospects for end-of-year business – IFA+Summit is an immediate success

Berlin, 11 September 2014 – Never before in the 90-year history of the event have so many products made their world debut at IFA. Global trends such as networking, wearables and further improvements in the images and sound produced by digital TV and hi-fi systems have reached new heights. More than ever IFA 2014 underlined its expertise in its role as the world’s meeting place for the industry and for exchanging information.

The reactions from retailers and consumers to the many products making their world debut were extremely positive. Over a period of six days alone IFA 2014 generated orders totalling 4.25 billion euros, and follow-up business is expected to be good. IFA’s unique blend of product innovations, stars and entertainment, presented by 1,538 exhibitors on a display area covering around 149,500 square metres, attracted more than 240,000 visitors. The floor space occupied was larger than at any previous event in the history of IFA.

“In 2014 IFA again fulfilled its role as a driving force of the markets. With an even larger volume of orders this year, the foundations were laid for good end-of-year business ahead of the most important sales period of the year. IFA continues to be the ideal venue and marketplace for industry and commerce“, said Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the supervisory board of Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik (gfu), the organisers of IFA.

“Once again, IFA has strengthened its position as the world’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances. Its contribution to boosting the home appliances market, for which the outlook is good, was exceptional“, said Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, chairman of the Home Appliances Trade Association, part of ZVEI.

Worldwide media interest

5,900 journalists covered IFA 2014, including over 2,600 media members from around the world. The many reports published in the world’s leading high-circulation print media are a reflection of the high level of interest in IFA. Publications included The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, USA Today and New York Times (USA), The Nikkei (Japan), The Korea Times and JoongAng IIbo (Korea), Le Monde and Le Figaro (France), La Stampa and Corriere della Sera (Italy), El Pais (Spain), the International Herald and The Guardian (UK) as well as El Watan Economie (Algeria), The Khaleej Times and The National (United Arab Emirates).

The presence of numerous international networks at the Global Broadcasting Center (GBC) also reflected the heightened interest of the world’s media in IFA. Among the international networks reporting on IFA were CCTV and Jiangsu TV from China, BFM TV and Euronews from France, the BBC, RAI and Mediaset from Italy, NHK from Japan, YTN and KBS from South Korea, TRT and Star Media from Turkey as well as the US networks CNBC/ NBC and Bloomberg.

“As the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances IFA is the world’s most effective information exchange for the industry. Within companies, IFA is a matter for decision-makers at the highest level“, said Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin. “We are very satisfied with the extremely positive reactions.“

Jens Heithecker, director of IFA: “In 2014 we were able to strengthen IFA’s position on the world market. More than 2,600 international journalists reported on the product innovations in Berlin to audiences all over the world and ensured that the manufacturers took centre stage.“

IFA+Summit an immediate success

The conference programme at IFA has also acquired an entirely international dimension. The new conference format entitled ’IFA+ Summit – Next Level Of Thinking’ was an immediate success at IFA 2014. Over a period of two days at the IFA+Summit pioneers, senior executives and entrepreneurs outlined notable trends and ideas for a digital future under the headings of Mobility, Health, Big Data, Home, Design and New Entertainment.

Under the heading of ‘IFA Summits’ the following congresses and conference events took place at FA 2014: the IFA International Keynotes, the new IFA+ Summit, the Display Search Business Conference, TEDx Berlin as well as the conference entitled ’GfK Retail & Technology: Be Smart – Meet the Consumer Products of Tomorrow’.

The IFA International Keynotes have become a meeting place for senior executives and CEOs from around the world. “The home of the future is no longer a vision.“ That was the key statement made by Samsung’s president Boo-Keun Yoon in his keynote address which opened IFA 2014. “It is not a future somewhere beyond the horizon“, Yoon noted. “Look at how quickly, in the space of only a few years, smartphones and tablets have changed our lives.“ There will be no such thing as a standard household, instead there will be millions of individual ones adapted to the needs of those who live in them.

In his speech at the International Keynotes Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president of Intel, provided an in-depth overview of the rapid pace and vast increase in the performance of Intel processors over the last ten years and of the wide range of current Intel-based tablets which are available in over 200 designs.

“The information exchanged by our networked products belongs to the consumer. It is he who must decide who can be allowed into the networked home“, said Matt Rogers, vice president of Nest Labs, a pioneering US company which was set up by former Apple employees and which early this year was sold to Google for 3.2 billion dollars, in his keynote speech. At IFA 2014 Rogers announced the company would be taking on the continental European market.

“Wherever we go we visit people in their homes.“ In his keynote speech at IFA 2014 Levent Cakiroglu, president of the Turkish company Koc Holding and CEO of its home appliances subsidiary Arcelik, underlined the close relationship between consumers and his products. “We communicate with them in order to understand their way of life and to develop the right products.“ By adhering to this philosophy Arcelik’s customer-oriented Beko brand has become one of the most successful home appliances manufacturers in the space of only a few years.

The quest for perfect sound – that had always been and still was the main focus of the company. That was the idea that Dr. Andreas Sennheiser and Daniel Sennheiser, the CEOs of Sennheiser Electronics, outlined, explained and put to the audience in their joint speech at the International Keynotes. That was what their grandfather had built the company on when he founded Sennheiser with a workforce of seven in 1945, as well as their father when he established global operations in the early 70s, and what, in keeping with family tradition, they were now continuing with success.

IFA TecWatch

IFA TecWatch presented itself as a vision of the future and living together in the digital age. Be it new standards and solutions for digital media, future-proof energy efficiency concepts, 3D printer products, ease of operation in the smart home, data security and security in the home, fitness and health apps or ideas for solving transport and traffic problems – IFA TecWatch displayed the technologies for the markets oftomorrow.

The combined international display featuring Ultra HD and Smart TV technology was again a special highlight of IFA TecWatch.

Smart Home, Smart City: Living in the digital world – that was the slogan that was adopted for this year’s combined presentation by the three associations, VDE, ZVEH and ZVEI, at IFA in Berlin. The presentations centred around the newly designed E-Haus, a 100 square-metre model house featuring interlinked, intelligent building services engineering. All the technology that was on show there is already available. Thus the E-thus provided a look into present-day technology and into developments that will be implemented on a wide scale in the future.

Startup Day@IFA TecWatch Forum

Startup Day@IFA marked its debut at IFA. The focus was on future-oriented markets, under topic headings such as the Connected Home, Wearables, Healthcare and Urban Technologies. At Startup Day@IFA, IFA TecWatch and Bundesverband Deutsche Startups joined forces to showcase the latest products and best innovations from Europe’s startups.

IFA is the world’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances and will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 4 to 9 September 2015.

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