Hans-Joachim Kamp is Chairman of the supervisory board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, the organiser of IFA

With consumers wanting to have access to goods, services and entertainment around the clock and everywhere, we started by asking Mr Kamp to tell us more about the biggest groundswell movements in the market at the moment.

Consumers demand and expect to receive quality and value at all price points. The trend to redefining value is a phenomenon with the same level through all age groups. All over the world customers are willing to spend more money for technical products. This can be taken from increasing average prices throughout the most product categories. Convenience is a must and products and services that help to save time and effort are welcome. From the technical point of view, voice recognition and artificial intelligence will be the next important game changers.

How is the market performing as we arrive at IFA, and what are the “sweet spots”?

After a successful year 2017 with a plus of 3.2% in turnover, we estimate a

growth of nearly 4% up to more than one trillion US Dollars for this year in cconsumer electronics. For every region of the world we expect growth. But we should keep in mind: Trade and industry have to stay active – the business does not run without impetus. Latin America leads with an expected 9% growth, followed by Emerging Asia without China with 7%. Europe is in third place with 6%.

What effect did the FIFA World Cup have on UHD TV sales this year?
UHD is one of the most growing segments in the TV market – with and without the World Cup. We expect a growth of approximately 38% in units up to nearly 100 million UHD TV sets for 2018.

What will be the most exciting aspects of IFA for you this year?

The development of IFA NEXT is very exciting. Only one year after IFA has created this new area, it almost doubles in exhibition space, including a second stage for lectures, panel discussions and presentations. Start-ups from all parts of the world, including groups from France, Korea and Taiwan, will present their product and business ideas. For the first time this year, the new IFA Next conference format “Shift Automotive” will highlight ideas of future mobility – another exciting IFA NEXT topic.

Why is IFA so important for growing the industry?

IFA takes place at the right time of the year since 35% of turnover is generated in the last quarter of the year. Consumers’ willingness to buy is even higher during this period. As a result of these facts, IFA is a huge order platform with more than 4.7bn of purchase volume. And last but not least, IFA generates global media coverage like no other trade show.

Photo: Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the supervisory board, gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH.