Training opportunities on offer as smart-home sector proves strong in the face of a slowing market

A partnership between Global Fairs/TT Messe and the SmartHome Initiative Deutschland brings a programme of workshops to IFA that might just be the missing link between smart-home technology and a more successful sales channel.

The smart-home sector is one of the fastest growing categories in consumer electronics and appliances. Only two years ago, according to research by Context, sales increased by a record 281% when the emergence of plug- and-play products, driven by smartphones and voice control by Amazon, Apple and Google, took smart-home technology into the mass-market.

Now buyers expect another big surge as smart home becomes the most significant consumer-driven opportunity for the IoT revolution – and the Centre of Smart Building (organised jointly by SmartHome Initiative Deutschland and Global Fairs in Hall 11.1) is the venue for a series of workshops that explain the newest business opportunities as well as the technical challenges. Behind these workshops stand Chairman Günther Ohland and Managing Director Alexander Schaper-Schneider, who founded the SmartHome Initiative Deutschland association 10 years ago, establishing it as a cross-sector federal association in Germany, representing the entire smart home value-added chain.
Smart Home Initiative Deutschland has joined forces on industry events with Global Fairs/TT Messe, organiser of Reseller Park at IFA, to bring a better understanding of this growing sector to the retail, distribution and installation channels.


“We’ve been together since 2015,” Managing Director of Global Fairs/TT Messe, Jan Nintemann, says. “Together with SmartHome Initiative Deutschland we have a big network that helps each other and helps create a better channel for smart home/smart building vendors.” Global Fairs comes with more than 20 years of background in bringing technology to buyers at IFA, including an early involvement with mobile communications and consumer IT.

The SmartHome Initiative can be found at IFA in Hall 11.1, as a sponsor and exhibitor at the Centre of Smart Building, established in co-operation with Global Fairs. There, in addition to a group of important smart building exhibitors – including KNX, an open standard for commercial and domestic building automation that leads the European market – show-goers can also attend the daily workshops. Smart home/smart building is an interdisciplinary topic which cuts across many sectors, including: consumer electronics, information and telecoms technologies, electrical technology, heating, air-conditioning and plumbing technology as well as security and health technology.

Information and telecoms technologies have emerged as the digital connection between the old silos of electro-mechanical expertise – to create a new digital interoperability at the application level.

Along with the Smart Homes & Buildings Association in the UK (SH&BA) and Fédération Française de Domotique in France (FFD), the SmartHome Initiative formed a European committee to co- ordinate joint activities. Altogether, they represent more than 600 professional members – including OEMs, retailers, distributors, ISVs, integrators, telcos, and energy suppliers.

The workshops at the Centre for Smart Building in Hall 11.1 bring in top European experts to share expertise on a fast-growing technology that is most welcomed by the industry as a replacement for the sales dip in traditional categories such as the PC and smartphones.

HALL 11.1, STAND 100

Photo: Jan Nintemann, Managing Director, Global Fairs/TT Messe