Due to the pandemic, IFA the industry’s defining trade show, like so many others, was not held in the usual way last year. The event, which normally attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors was partly virtual in 2020. Given the current epidemic situation, and its ongoing unpredictability, there are some questions regarding its implementation. IFA Director Dirk Koslowski gave us an exclusive interview on some of the issues surrounding this year’s event.
How will be organized IFA fair in 2021? Will it be exactly the same as before the Covid pandemic or different (like in 2020)? In case different in which way?
“Exactly the same as before Corona.” – Nearly all of us wish this would be the case. But I assume it will take a bit longer than 2021 before events and trade shows can take place again as they used to in the past. Nevertheless, We are working full steam ahead to create a meeting place that enables our industry, our partners – and you, the media – to get back on track and get back to business in the most efficient way, at a trade show. At the moment we are gearing up for a full-scale and real-life return of IFA 2021 in Berlin in September, while health and safety is our top priority! Our greatest ambition for 2021 is, to provide important impetuses for our industry and everyone involved.
Do you have any plans for 1, best scenario (if Pandemic is over in Europe) or 2, worst case scenario (if Pandemic is still strong)? In which format will you organize the event in the second case?
Indeed, it would be unwise not to take different scenarios into account. As of today our major scenario would be that the framework conditions allow us to take place at full scale as a physical live event. And yes, we will be prepared in case this won’t happen including embedding few more virtual components for our partners. However, our mission as of today for 2021 is clear: We are aiming for a full-scale and real-life event in September in Berlin. We are optimistic, that the global vaccination effort is gaining a huge momentum and that lockdowns are finally beginning to pay off – giving us the confidence that we can invite the world to come to Berlin in September for IFA 2021.
„But it might also require the necessity of full registration for contact tracking, tests and/ or verifiable vaccination..”
Dirk Koslowski, IFA Director
What kind of restrictions do you plan in order to ensure health security? (negative PCR test is needed / certificate of vaccination) etc…?
First of all IFA designs a comprehensive concept to ensure the best possible safety and hygiene measures for all participants. As of today it will be expected that all guest have been vaccinated and/ or negative tested before entering the exhibition. In addition this concept includes the measures we are already familiar with, such as keeping your distance, wearing masks and disinfectant dispensers. But it might also require the necessity of full registration for contact tracking, tests and/ or verifiable vaccination.
AZ IFA IGAZGATÓJA, DIRK KOSLOWSKI ADOTT LAPUNKNAK EXKLUZÍV INTERJÚT AZ IDEI BERLINI kiállítással KAPCSOLATBAN.
Given people’s general attitude and current travel possibilities, what kind of interest do you expect? Especially compared to last year’s event, which was partly virtual, and compared to the previous traditional event?
During the most recent full-scale event, in 2019, IFA Berlin welcomed 238,700 visitors, 1,930 industry partners and 5,360 journalists. (All coming from more than 130 countries and territories.) Of course, with all our precautions to ensure everybody’s good health. We don’t expect IFA Berlin 2021 to set new records. Last year’s special edition of IFA Berlin – a tightly controlled, three-day real-life event, amplified and extended by a virtual exhibition space – had 145,900 visitors onsite and online, with 1,570 industry partners participating and 10,750 journalists following the event. The special edition attracted visitors from 100 countries and territories.
IFA 2020 Special Edition / Photo: IFA
Can we expect anything special in terms of the theme and content of the event this year?
We are excited to announce, that IFA will be partnering for the first time with the Tech Up for Women Conference in September. Tech Up for Women as the highly innovative convention format will be designed by women for women, to learn from and with top female executives, researchers and experts and to establish global networks. Moreover we are expanding the portfolio of partnerships and exhibitions by adding the Berlin Photo Week. Berlin Photo Week is a creative and spectacular strengthening of IFA’s product portfolio on the subject of imaging as well as on the exhibition grounds in parallel with Berlin Photo Week events throughout the city.