CE Trends for 2008 - IFA International Press Conference


IFA 2008 Promises Cutting-Edge Appliances with CE Tech

IFA 2008 Promises Cutting-Edge Appliances with CE Tech

With the major trends now shifting towards consolidated HD powerhouses, such as the Blu-ray Disc format winning the HD disc format war and LCD TVs seemingly having the upper-hand over plasma, it is little wonder then that in order to make 2008's show better than 2007's, the organizers of the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) show in Berlin will be introducing some new ideas at the show this year. These announcements were made at the third annual International Press Conference held on April 19-20 in Majorca, Spain.

The IFA consumer electronics show is held annually in Berlin, Germany and it features some of the biggest and renowned brands in home vision, audio, automobiles, communications and computers. Often compared with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show in US, the IFA show has always been positioned as a show where displayed products are ready-to-market or launched, making it highly relevant to trade visitors, journalists and interested buyers. This year's event will be held from 29 August - 3 September 2008.

From being a virtual icon in 2001, Miss IFA is now represented by a real person since 2003 and has remained a fiery trademark symbol for all things IFA-related.

The third annual International Press Conference for the IFA 2008 was held in Majorca, Spain and it had 270 journalists from 42 countries attending. The presentation panel consisted of host Mr. Dave Graveline, Chief Editor and Producer of Into Tomorrow; Dr. Christian Goke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin; Dr. Rainer Hecker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, gfu & Chairman on the Board of Loewe AG; and Mr. Jurgen Boyny, Global Director for Consumer Electronics, GfK Marketing Services.

Last year, the show saw more than 1,200 exhibiting companies from 32 countries, covering an area more than 103,000 square meters, with sales totaling 2.75 billion Euros. What's even more encouraging: attendance was a record high of 223,000 - making IFA nearly 60 percent larger than CES.

However, to better last year's figures, IFA 2008 will see six new hall spaces dedicated to home appliances, featuring brands like De'Longhi, Electrolux, Miele, etc., as well as a Taiwan Image Hall for Taiwanese exhibitors. "Among the ten most important electrical devices for every day's use, five belong to consumer electronics and the other five belong to domestic appliances", said Dr. Christian Goke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin.

"By integrating the leading companies from the domestic electric appliance industry we have created a format that has not been tried at any other trade show. Starting in 2008, the IFA will be bringing two of the top-selling sectors, consumer electronics and domestic electrical appliances, together under one roof, thereby benefiting all the brand names attending the IFA," Dr. Goke added.

The floorplan for IFA 2008 shows six new halls at the south entrance labeled under Home Appliances. There are 28 main halls in total with some halls having sub-levels that stretch two to three floors. Click the picture for a larger view.

A new feature at the IFA 2008 show is the introduction of 6 new halls for consumer appliances. Popular consumer appliance brands like Miele, Bosch, Electrolux, De'Longhi and Russell Hobbs are expected to showcase their latest appliances like coffee making machines, refrigerators, induction cookers, kitchen products and more at the show.

The buzz from journalists at the International Press Conference was generally positive and optimistic. Most believe that the introduction of a consumer appliance display segment at IFA would push greater innovations outside of the living room environment. These would include new innovations focused on the kitchen and overall housing units.

Hosted by Dave Graveline, Chief Editor and Producer of Into Tomorrow, a special ShowStoppers American journalist panel was set up to address concerns related to topics ranging from the impact of the US sub-prime crisis on the technology industry to the role of the Apple iPhone and Google's upcoming Android mobile platform. The panel consisted of Larry Magid (CBS News), John Biggs (CrunchGear), Thomas Ricker (engadget), Eric Lundquist (eWEEK) and Harry McCracken (PC World USA).