Wednesday, January 11, 2012


By Bayle Emlein
Simply put: I wanna go to IFA. I want to go.

IFA is now the world's largest Consumer Electronics show, held in the heart of the world's largest market--Europe. Messe Berlin hosts the annual show at the end of August. Thisbyear (2012) the exhibition starts on August 31 and runs through September 5. That's a full six days scheduled. And then there are the pre-conference sessions and the post-show industry events.

Positioned in the development year to take advantage of preparations for the upcoming holiday buying season, it has more vendors and almost twice the number attendees. A significant difference between the Las Vegas-based CES and the Berlin-based IFA is IFA's close association with the Fraunhoffer research  institute. With around 60 separate research facilittites, Fraunhoffer is responsible for many of the developments that form the foundation of my digital world today.

Dave Leon through ShowStoppers is forging a link between CES and IFA.  I don't think that will result in one massive ├╝berparty. I'm looking forward to more depth in trade shows in the US. I can't speak for the rest of the world, though as I noted, I would love to be able to be in the position to make personal reports. But if you are planning a trip to Berlin or Hong Kong or Mexico City, you might want to check your calendar to see if you can coordinate with a trade show. As far as I can tell, there is a lot of English.

Wondering what IFA stands for? Internationale Funkausstellung. That's the International Radio Exhibition, another indication of how fast the world is changing while the language sounds the same.  I expect that the diference between the language and the experience of IFA is as the non-match between the acronnym and the current meaning of the show.

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