New blood and new vision for German industry association

Exclusive Interview – Kai Hillebrandt – Chairman of the supervisory board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics, organiser of IFA

Kai Hillebrandt was recently elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu. We asked what his vision is for the future of the association.

The IFA 2020 Special Edition with its pandemic-related challenges is currently at the top of our agenda. But we are optimistic of the success of this event because Messe Berlin has proven to be a well-established and reliable partner at our side. A major goal for the future is clearly to continue and further develop the success story of gfu and IFA together with Messe Berlin. Naturally, the conception of IFA 2021 will also be a key focus very soon.

What will you change?
Our team at gfu around the new managing director, Dr Sara Warneke, is in excellent shape. I can absolutely rely on their strong support and therefore see no need for change this setup in the future. Since the gfu supervisory board will also be composed of three people again by 2021, I am very positive about the future of the gfu.

The Coronavirus is still omnipresent … but in years to come, what permanent changes will take place in the industry due to this crisis?
Consumers are currently focusing more and more on their homes and are willing to invest in innovative technology. You could observe this during the lockdown. As a result, demand for both household appliances, such as products for cooking, cleaning and health care, as well as  home electronics has risen. For example, the increased use of home office and home schooling is reflected in the very positive development of the IT sector. Classic consumer electronics can also benefit, as is well illustrated by the positive trend in the TV market. Incidentally, the trend towards larger and very well-equipped televisions is clearly continuing here. In other words, our industry offers a large number of technical products that are in increased demand during the crisis – however, it is difficult to say which of these current trends will outlast the crisis. Nevertheless, I am convinced that our industry will continue to hold its position thanks to its innovative strength.

A major goal for the future is clearly to continue and further develop the success story of gfu and IFA together with Messe Berlin.

gfu Insight & Trends 2020“Germany in a balancing act between rethinking and returning to normality”

In a two-hour programme, different actors from science, industry and commerce will explain how they have dealt with the challenges of the Corona era, what insights they have gained, what solutions have been found and what we can all learn from them for the future. But consumers also have their say. In a large representative study, the gfu surveyed the people of Germany comprehensively… but not only on Corona virus issues, because while Corona has long been the defining theme, there are a number of other aspects that will shape the consumer and home electronics industries, the technology sector, and our lifestyle today and for the future.

On the stage:

  • Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu, presents the results of the latest market study of gfu: “Corona virus impact on the consumer electronics and home appliances market, digitalisation, and society.”
  • Cornelia Schneider-Pungs, Education Specialist, Microsoft: “Germany at home – digital work and learning – what will the teaching profession look like in the future?”
  • Patrick Schmich, Head of Epidemiological Data and Survey Centre, Robert Koch Institute: “Corona Apps: Experiences and Results”
  • Marco Bühler, Managing Partner, Beurer GmbH: “Preventive Digital Health: Impulses & Future Prospects in a Post-Corona World”
  • Volker Klodwig, Executive Vice President Sales, BSH Home Appliances and Supervisory Board of gfu: “Out of the crisis into the boom: How manufacturers and retailers are strengthening the new feeling at home”
  • Dirk Wittmer, Managing Partner, Euronics XXL Johann + Wittmer GmbH and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Euronics eG: “Corona Best Practice Marketing (making the internet a friend)”

2 September 2020 / 2pm to 4pm – Hall 3.2