RECORD ORDERS, RECORD VISITORS FOR IFA 2018

gfu’s Hans-Joachim Kamp hails successful event and praises expansion of brand extensions including IFA Global Markets, IFA Next and IFA+ Summit

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IFA AND A LOT OF OTHER TRADE SHOWS IS THAT ORDERS ACTUALLY GET MADE, WHICH IS IMPORTANT WHEN COMPANIES SPEND TENS OF MILLIONS OF EUROS TO PRESENT HERE.

Hans-Joachim Kamp is Supervisory Board Chairman of gfu, the organiser of IFA. As the 2018 edition of the show ended, he told IFA International that key performance indicators suggested it had been another excellent year for the world’s biggest consumer electronics and home appliances show: “IFA is more international than ever which is great news for us,” he said, “And we know from the initial figures that there were more visitors, which is also important for an event that presents goods to the trade, media and public.”

Mr Kamp also talked positively about “The IFA+ Summit, which had a fantastic conference programme. It had more participants than in the past and was well received. Another high point was IFA Global Markets over at STATION Berlin. I am so happy with the way that has developed, and I have spoken to a number of companies that sent teams to meet OEM/ODM suppliers there. Global Markets has proved to be an excellent concept, well-structured and well- organised.”

It is too early to give accurate order figures for business at IFA, but Dr Kamp says it will “match last year’s record performance, around 4.7bn Euros. The difference between IFA and a lot of other trade shows is that orders actually get made, which is important when companies spend tens of millions of euros to present here.”

A key trend, says Mr Kamp, is that more and more companies are coming to IFA with their latest innovations – rather than releasing them a few months ahead of the market. “This makes sense because products in our market start to decrease in price after three or four months, so if you launch them too early they are falling in price by September or October, which is the busiest time of the year. So by bringing innovations to IFA, I think it’s a win-win for the manufacturers and the show.”

In terms of show highlights, Mr Kamp says: “There have been product highlights across all the main categories. I think 8K will have positive impact on the TV market’s development, but that we will also see continued growth for 4K, which is moving mainstream. And I have seen at the booths how excited consumers are about AI innovation like voice control. 15 years ago people tried to introduce voice but it was a mess.

Now we have learned from smart phones how it works and I am quite sure this will be one of features that will be appreciated more and more. The same with smart homes. In the past there used to be a lot of discussions about standards, but these days everyone works with apps so there is no problem.”

On the subject of Shift Automotive, he was happy that the event, co-organised with the Geneva Motor Show, achieved the right balance. “It’s all about what is the right strategy for IFA. When we introduced home appliances ten years ago, there was a lot of discussion about whether it was right to bring white goods into the show. But now it’s the biggest home appliances trade show in the world. With cars, having a congress ts because this industry is now so connected to it. Co-innovation has been a key theme at IFA 2018, and Mr Kamp said, for him, IFA Next in Hall 26 was a great example of this philosophy. “It nearly doubled in size compared to last year. It was great to see all the startups that were happy with their co-operation with both research institutes and big players. Some of the big Korean, Japanese and European companies have research labs, but several of them also buy shares in small startups. So maybe in the future we will see some of the guys from Hall 26 showing up at IFA as parts of big international companies”.


Photo: Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, gfu Consumer & Home Electronics