1 year ago

Day 6 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Products
  • Berlin
  • Appliances
  • Consumer
  • September
  • European
  • Washing
  • Panasonic
  • Sennheiser
  • Electronics


News IFA: the Industry “Melting Pot” Dr Rainer Hecker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu gives an overview of the 2012 vintage Dr Rainer Hecker Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Looking back at the 2012 edition of IFA and forward to coming years, Dr Hecker gives an upbeat report… IFA 2012 is again a record fair due to the fact that the entire exhibition area is rented. Secondly, we have seen an increase in international dealer visitors and also consumers. The exhibitors are thus very happy with the contacts with dealers and consumers, and we are convinced that the order volume will be at least at the same level as last year. We have had very attractive keynote speakers, real decision makers and strategic management of global companies here in Berlin. And thanks to the conference sessions and roundtables on international media policies we are even more international. Besides national broadcasters, international new competitors like Apple and Google are also visiting IFA and are participating in the media conferences. This gives a more global character to the show here in Berlin. What for you have been the most important product developments revealed at IFA? First of all, the development has been phenomenal, especially on the application side, in Smart TV… this is fantastic. There is big progress not only in the hardware, but also on software and user interfaces, also including discussions we started together with new competitors besides linear TV programme providers. New platform suppliers and competitors like Apple and Google are really a fascinating new challenge for the whole industry. The entire value chain of producing content and distributing it is changing, and the ease of use of new sets – not just TVs but also smartphones and tablets as intelligent remote controls, is an amazing development. There has been major progress in picture quality, with 4K and even now 8K, and also progress with OLED. In the home appliance sector, ease of use and energy savings are even more advanced this year. Through the addition of broader categories of products in IT, HA, ICT and CE, IFA is now a true “melting pot”. IFA is a mirror of developments, and the big challenge for us is to develop the next steps in years to come. It Was a Very Good Year Double-digit growth in international trade visitors and record media participation mark IFA 2012 This year, IFA has again been solidly confirmed as the global stage for consumer electronics and home appliances - for the media, for the industry and for trade visitors. We asked IFA’s Executive Director, Jens Heithecker to outline key trends concerning visitors. Jens Heithecker Executive Director, IFA One cannot say “of course” there are more visitors, especially in these times. The pressure of competition in the market is very hard for everyone – for retail as well as for the industry. We are happy to say we have around 8% more trade visitors and double-digit growth in international trade visitors. That’s amazing after 40% growth in international trade visitors last year. The number of media representatives at the show has grown, especially internationally, for example from the US and Japan. Last year we had 2,200 international press, and this year will be a new record. And we are proud because the quality of the international media is growing as well. They are covering more products and technology trends than ever. And some of them, especially from the US, are now considering IFA as the leading show worldwide. In the opening press conference we heard of the added importance of innovations this year. How has the reaction been from the press and trade? Before IFA, many media people seemed to think there would not be so many innovations, but all are surprised this year how many innovations the exhibitors brought to this year's show. It seems for the industry to be a very important year, because the pressure for them to bring important innovations is greater than ever and we can see the result at this year’s IFA. We are seeing increased promotion of ICT and IT products this year… That’s an interesting trend. It is an excellent trade show for the whole world of the IT and telecommunications industry, including the distribution and the media. They are on the way to being part of this market and that’s a major factor for IFA. 6

News Alexander AlVAro Alexander Alvaro was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament in January 2012. As a jurist and one of the youngest members of the European Parliament, Alexander Alvaro has served as a deputy chair of the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and as a member of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), as well as of the temporary Policy Challenges Committee (SURE). His main focus has always been the delicate balance between security and civil liberties in order to build a secure Europe for future generations, which guarantees each citizen both the freedom of movement and the protection of their privacy. “as Europeans we should focus much, much more on the potential we have in innovation” Dr Rainer Hecker - Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu, Alexander Alvaro - European Parliament Vice President and Raimund Hosch - CEO of Messe Berlin (l-r) IFA – A Key Economy Driver for Europe European Parliament Vice President Alexander Alvaro tours IFA on fact-finding mission In a visit to the IFA show, European Parliament Vice President Alexander Alvaro met not only with organisers, but also with several key manufacturers, in order to obtain a clearer view of the marketplace. Mr Alvaro, toured the show with a group of senior officials from the organisers, Messe Berlin and gfu / ZVEI. IFA International Editor in Chief, Richard Barnes, asked Mr Alvaro if this was his first time at the show… [ Interview by Richard Barnes ] In fact it is. I was always quite curious and it was always something fascinating, because if you grow up in a generation of kids watching Star Trek or Star Wars, boys are usually very fascinated by such things, so I always wanted to come and I am happy it worked out today. The biggest issues of course as the world is converging are those of digital security, as we have been seeing with Europe’s Digital Agenda. Is this one of the main things you are looking at here? My idea was to get two impressions. First of all, where we are heading? What is actually the development? What will be possible, not only today, but also tomorrow? And then of course the question following would be exactly what you mentioned… How would this imply to security questions, because if people have homes that are connected, and their everyday lives are digital, then the other question that arises is how is this protected? The consumer electronics industry, and particularly also the home appliance industries are doing quite well in Europe and particularly in Germany… Is this a strength for Europe as well? Well it is a strength that we still have to develop further. I must admit that sometimes I believe that we are too careless with the potential we actually have in Europe, because if you look at the United States or Japan and the rest of Asia, there is high potential and extreme development. So I think as Europeans we should focus much, much more on the potential we have in innovation, especially when it comes to consumer electronics and the products following on. How important do you feel IFA is within the European framework in promoting this industry within Europe? I don’t know if you can actually really validate enough how important it is. It is a unique fair that you will not find anywhere else in Europe and worldwide it is one of the most important events in the field of consumer electronics. So for Europe it is an asset of which we certainly have to be caring. IFA International • Wednesday 5 th September 2012 7

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