IFA Berlin, one of Europe's biggest consumer electronics trade shows, is ready to do it all live and in-person from September 2-6, it's been announced. It feels just like old times.
"IFA 2022 is going ahead, full-size, real-life," said Jens Heithecker, Executive Vice President Messe Berlin Group IFA, promising a "return to normal" (though "not the normal of 2019") for the show, which covers everything from computing, 5G and AI to appliances, edge computing, photography and electric cars.
Like most other trade events, for the past couple of years the once-sprawling show has been confined to a virtual event, with attendees watching keynotes and demonstrations on their screens.
That's not the plan for 2022. "Finally, it’s time to interact, connect, and co-innovate, to meet people face to face, not as a flat image on the screen," said Heithecker.
While the full scale of the event isn't yet clear, Heithecker said 15 of IFA's top 20 companies have confirmed their participation, and at pre-pandemic levels. He didn't state the anticipated number of exhibitors, attendees, or press, but he did make a bold prediction. "Unlike other trade shows, which were at half strength or thereabout... IFA 2022, will give you your first chance to experience a real and global technology show," he said.
IFA also announced its keynote speaker: Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. Amon took the virtual press conference stage to offer a brief preview of his remarks, promising that he'll talk about 5G, AI, and the 'intelligent edge'.
IFA acknowledged that while life is returning to normal, and its plan is for a full-scale, in-person event, it also plans to accommodate those who still can't travel to Berlin with a virtual show that will include live feeds of keynotes and press conferences.
Heithecker and a pair of analysts also spoke more broadly about global trends affecting the consumer electronics marketplace, including the ongoing pandemic and the electronics boom it sparked, the Ukraine war, which is negatively impacting European market sentiment, and the ongoing global supply chain problems.
Heithercker believes an in-person IFA might help to alleviate that latter issue, saying industry figures needed to reconnect in-person to help disentangle global supply operations. "Our industry needs a platform that lets them clear up any uncertainties about supply chains," he added.
Registration for IFA 2022 is now open.