Tech brands and retailers return in force to the first large-scale IFA since 2019 – Keynotes from Qualcomm, Arçelik, Honor, Huawei and Schneider Electric – New generation of technology for the post-pandemic future – Focus on connectivity, sustainability and smart living.
It’s “Ready, Steady, Show” as the world’s top consumer electronics and home appliances brands and retailers return to Berlin for the first large-scale IFA since 2019. Following nearly three years of high-speed digital transformation that changed how we work, live and play, the world’s leading tech brands have come to Berlin to showcase the latest technologies designed and developed for a world that is now more connected and digital than ever.
Despite pandemic restrictions still in place in some parts of the world, this year’s IFA Berlin will host more than 1,100 manufacturers and brands from 46 countries – making it one of the largest tech events of the year on 151,000 sqm. Big technology trends this year are connectivity, sustainability and smart living. The trade show takes place at a crucial moment in time: Brands and retailers have finally a chance to reconnect after two years of record growth rates and just as the lockdown-driven boom is showing signs of gradually disappearing.
Dr Sara Warneke, Managing Director of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH which organizes IFA, said: “2022 is a year full of challenges, many of which are interlinked. Despite the declines in turnover and the negative influences, there are opportunities for positive developments in our industries. We are convinced that IFA will once again live up to its role as the world’s most important platform for consumer electronics and home appliances and, thanks to its convincing mix, will act as a sustainable growth and innovation driver.” IFA takes places during the important run-up to big retail drivers like Singles Day, Black Friday, Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Martin Ecknig, the Chief Executive of Messe Berlin, said: “IFA Berlin is back again, and what you see at IFA 2022 will shape our everyday world for the time after the pandemic. Global brands, retailers, innovators, trade visitors and journalists are coming to IFA, because they finally have the opportunity to meet in person again and to see the full range of the connected life, end-to-end.”
This year’s IFA is taking place from 2-6 September, which coincides with the 200th anniversary of Messe Berlin itself.
Keynotes from leading companies are helping to shape the IFA agenda.
- Cristiano Amon, the Chief Executive of Qualcomm, will hold the opening keynote at IFA to lay out his vision for a world were truly everything will be connected.
(IFA Opening Keynote, 2 September, 10 a.m.)
- Hakan Bulgurlu, the Chief Executive of Arçelik – known for brands like Grundig and Beko – will outline how the consumer electronics industry can achieve sustainability.
(IFA Keynote, 2 September, 2 p.m.)
- George Zhao, the Chief Executive of Honor, and Tony Ran, President of Honor Europe, will explain their ideas for a new era of connectivity.
(IFA Keynote, 2 September, 5 p.m.)
- William Tian, President of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Western Europe, will be in conversation with Ben Wood, the Chief Analyst at CCS Insight, to showcase new products across the smartphone, smart office, and health and fitness space.
(IFA Keynote, 3 September, 10.30 a.m.)
- Gwenaelle Avice-Huet, the Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer at Schneider Electric, will explore how Smart Home devices can make our homes more sustainable.
(IFA Keynote, 3 September, 5 p.m.)
Once again IFA is using its innovation hub IFA NEXT to take visitors to the edge of tomorrow. The event and exhibition space brings together the world’s top innovators, research institutes, promising start-ups and forward-thinking businesses to explore the latest technology trends and show how they will transform everyday consumer living.
182 exhibitors – including around 120 start-ups – from 19 countries will present their products and services in categories such as AI, robotics, immersive experiences, smart living, smart home, sustainability, green tech and digital health. IFA NEXT features companies from around the world, including strong contingents from countries like Germany, Korea, France, Italy and the USA.
Speakers such as former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, Marcel Fratzscher of DIW, Lisandra Flach of ifo Institute, philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, Jürgen Trittin, member of the German Bundestag, and many other top opinion leaders will discuss the current situation of de/globalization on Monday, 5 September. This is not a question to be dealt with in the future, the economic world needs answers now. Therefore, the topic is more relevant than ever – also for the entire consumer electronics industry. IFA+ Summit is designed to deliver powerful take-aways for its audience and, for the first time, will be open to all trade visitors without the need for an extra ticket.
IFA GLOBAL MARKETS
Sourcing show IFA Global Markets – the showcase for OEMs and ODMs from around the world – is back. Because of continuing lockdowns in parts of Asia, the event will be smaller than in previous years; however, the numbers have been boosted thanks to strong growth from manufacturers from countries and regions like Turkey.
The SHIFT Mobility innovation conference also makes a return to IFA, offering traditional companies and tech giants a platform to meet start-ups and science. The event – from 1 – 6 September, will host car manufacturers like Volkswagen, Ford, BMW and Mercedes Benz; technology companies like AWS and Qualcomm; start-ups like Lilium, Pivt, Lexgo and Autobrains; and top researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute and the University of Toronto.
BERLIN PHOTO WEEK
Coinciding with the start of IFA, BERLIN PHOTO WEEK – from 2 to 4 September – is organising a wide-ranging conference programme at Arena Berlin. Among its highlights are lectures by renowned Magnum photographers Nana Heitmann, Bieke Depoorter, Yael Martinez and Paolo Pellegrin.
INTERNATIONAL MARKET DEVELOPMENT
In the years 2020 and 2021 there was a pandemic-related boom with exceptional growth rates. In 2021, all world regions showed growth rates, many even in the double-digit range. Due to this growth, 2021 was particularly positive for the Home Electronics industries, with growth of 12.6 % to more than 1.4 trillion US dollars. Compared to 2019, the year 2021 even yielded a growth of 17 %. This phase recently came to an end and markets are declining globally. However, this is still at a level above the pre-pandemic year 2019. Right now, the markets around the world are affected by interrupted supply chains and significant changes in exchange rates, for example Euro versus US Dollar. The cost of energy and transport is at an unprecedented level. Strong inflation and increasing prices dampen the customers’ demand and in some regions pandemic-related lockdowns still occur. Accordingly, with few exceptions, the markets showed lower sales in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, which amounts to a global decline of 5.5 %.