IFA Berlin, one of Europe’s biggest consumer electronics shows, is set to do it all live and in person from September 2-6, it has been announced. It’s like the good old days.
“IFA 2022 is moving forward, full size, real life,” said Jens Heithecker, executive vice president of the Messe Berlin IFA group, promising a “return to normal” (but “not the normal of 2019 “) for the show, which covers everything from computing, 5G and AI to appliances, edge computing, photography and electric cars.
Like most other trade events, for the past two years the once sprawling trade show has limited itself to a virtual event, with attendees watching speeches and demonstrations on their screens.
That’s not the plan for 2022. “Finally, it’s time to interact, connect and co-innovate, to meet people face to face, not as a flat image on the screen”, Heithecker said.
While the scale of the event is still unclear, Heithecker said 15 of IFA’s top 20 companies have confirmed their attendance, and at pre-pandemic levels. He didn’t state the expected number of exhibitors, attendees or press, but he made a bold prediction. “Unlike other trade shows, which were half or thereabouts reduced…IFA 2022, will give you your first chance to experience a truly global tech show,” he said.
The IFA also announced its keynote speaker: Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm. Amon took advantage of the virtual press conference stage to offer a brief overview of his remarks, promising that he will talk about 5G, AI and the “smart edge”.
The IFA has acknowledged that while life returns to normal and its plan is for a large-scale in-person event, it also plans to welcome those still unable to make it to Berlin with a virtual show that will include live streams of keynotes and press conferences.
Heithecker and a pair of analysts also spoke more broadly about global trends affecting the consumer electronics market, including the ongoing pandemic and the electronics boom it sparked, the war in Ukraine, which is having a negative impact on European market sentiment, and ongoing global supply chain issues.
Heithercker thinks an in-person IFA could help alleviate the latter problem, saying industry figures needed to reconnect in-person to help untangle global sourcing operations. “Our industry needs a platform that allows them to dispel any uncertainty around supply chains,” he added.
Registration for IFA 2022 is now open.