1 year ago

Preview Edition - IFA International

  • Text
  • Products
  • Berlin
  • Consumer
  • European
  • Electronics
  • Digital
  • Devices
  • August
  • Trends
  • Lifestyle


Trade News Optimising IFA Thoughts and suggestions from a top trade professional Stefan De Prycker, Country Managing Director, Media Markt - Saturn Belgium, gives his tips and ideas for getting the best out of the world’s premium Consumer Lifestyle show. We asked Mr. De Prycker how he would best describe IFA to a colleague who had not attended the event... [ Interview by Richard Barnes ] It’s a place where one can discover the latest developments, to gain a better understanding, in just a couple of days, of what is going on; to hear, see, feel, discover... and meet the people you want to meet. How essential to you is IFA as part of your decision-making process, and why? Let’s say that above all, it makes the process easier, because you have more impressions in a shorter time, to get an idea what is happening in technology, and it helps us to see how to adapt new concepts in the retail setting, and how to hone and adapt our business models. To give you an example, a few years ago, when we first saw that a lot of manufacturers started to talk about Smart TV, we decided to install Internet access for every television in every store in order to better demonstrate this to our customers, knowing it would become a standard feature in the future. By visiting IFA, we are thus better able to decide how we should develop our business concepts. How long do you spend at IFA? I am only going for two and a half days this year, so I won’t be able to see everything or meet everybody, but I think it’s enough to have a good impression of what is going on. How many meetings do you have at the show? I try to spend half of my time looking around to get impressions and see how the market is developing, and half my time in meetings. That leaves enough time for around ten meetings. What percentage of meetings do you arrange beforehand, rather that "just dropping by"? All meetings are organised beforehand. Otherwise it is impossible to speak to the right people. This partly replies also to your first “I will redirect my journey through the IFA depending upon highlights...” question... it’s impossible for me to see everybody at the show, because we have a few hundred suppliers. Of course, my team and the product managers are also visiting the IFA and they meet their contacts. So depending on the issues at hand with key partners, I organise some meetings myself. The most important thing is to get a general feeling for what’s going on and to see the innovations, because this is the show where we get to see them the most. What are you seeing as being the biggest trends (through sales in your stores) this year? The trend is for everything to be connected to the network. All products are becoming smart and are communicating together. The convergence and connectivity between products is a very interesting trend, and consumers are starting to understand what nice things they can do with electronics today. As a retailer, we also have to show and explain this to the customer, which is not easy, because it means our sales staff have to be much more knowledgeable today; not only about their own department, but also how products from different departments can communicate with each other, and this is the challenge for the future. The EISA Awards are again given in Berlin during IFA time. How does an EISA Awards impact on the sales of a certain product? It depends how the companies communicate when they receive an award. I think it can have an impact, especially when there is a specific feature that differentiates the product from other products. And I think if you combine this communication and a product introduction, it can really make a difference. How useful is IFA International for you in making your buying decisions? I always take it with me. I keep it in the hotel and even afterwards in the plane going home. It gives a good overview. I must say that in the beginning what I do is to always have quick a look at the plan... who’s doing what, what are the innovations, who is advertising, and what their message is. So it influences me in a way because I will redirect my journey through the IFA depending on some highlights that are in the magazine. It has an influence, yes. Stefan De Prycker Country Managing Director, Media Markt - Saturn Belgium Finally, what would you say is your "secret" to a successful visit to IFA? Prepare the people that you really want to meet. Try to make appointments in advance. Then really make goals of what you want to see; prepare who is in which hall and make a schedule to optimise your time. For the managers, plan in advance what your team is doing there... then at the moment itself, be interested, ask questions, go into detail, discover, feel, hear ... just jump in the pool and enjoy the water! IFA International • Monday 27 th August 2012 41

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