Designer    Exhibition 01 Oct 2016

Giant German electronics show IFA 2016 see’s over 1,800 exhibitors and 240,000 visitors

Both in terms of scale and significance, European consumer electronics exhibitions don’t get much bigger than IFA, and once again there were some highly innovative kitchen appliances on show in Berlin


Giant German electronics show IFA has always been on a scale that raises eyebrows for any visitors from the UK. Some of the biggest appliance brands have entire exhibition halls just for their products, with individual stands for each product category.

This year’s IFA saw over 1,800 exhibitors from across the consumer electronics and home appliances sector, with over 240,000 visitors over the course of the event, 64,000 of which were from outside of the German market, underlining the international edge to a show that has been running for 92 years.

A big topic at IFA was the future of the home and a new feature on the Smart Home filled a 3,000 sq m hall with 40 exhibitors from 15 countries, demonstrating the latest products and services covering various aspects of home automation. This included lighting, room temperature, and heating, to energy management, security systems, wireless transmission technologies, access management, and integrated robots for different purposes, such as vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers.

Elsewhere, IFA TecWatch also offered a glimpse of the future, revealing what is currently being developed inside research labs, think tanks within young companies, universities, industry organisations, and innovative companies. This ‘future lab’ ran alongside the main trade show with presentations, networking, and panel discussions, as well as competitions for young entrepreneurs. Top trends such as smart living, virtual reality, and business start-ups were powerful crowd pullers.

From the smart kitchen to the connected car, virtual realities and the Internet of Things, the speakers at IFA Keynotes 2016 painted a picture of digital evolution and revolution. BSH CEO Dr Karsten Ottenberg introduced Mykie the kitchen elf, a cute robot that could soon be standing on the kitchen table to share useful tips. Dr Ottenberg says that over the coming years, Mykie should make it out of the current laboratory environment and into real kitchens, so he can become better acquainted with other connected devices in the home and get to know his new family.

Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at GFU Consumer & Home Electronics – the organisers of IFA – said: “IFA was able to once again build on its position as the world’s leading trade show for industry and trade, and as a brilliant platform for doing business. The number of innovations and new products presented in Berlin is almost endless. IFA is a unique platform for promoting positive business performance, unlike anything elsewhere in the world. The fact that order volume increased to 4.5 billion euros is an impressive proof of its significance.”