IFA Berlin trade fair takes on Domotechnica with 30,000 sq m of appliances

By James Wells

BERLIN, GERMANY: The world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition, IFA, has announced it will include 30,000 square metres for home appliances from next year — pitching the event in direct competition with wounded German appliance show, Domotechnica.

According to a statement obtained by Current.com.au, the decision has been made by the organisers of IFA: GFU — the consumer and communication electronics organisation, the German Home Appliance Industry Associations within the electrical and electronics industry federation (ZVEI) and exhibition company Messe Berlin.

IFA, which previously existed as a biannual show until 2006, is an annual event covering over 180,000 square metres of space at the Messe Berlin exhibition centre and attracts more than 1,200 exhibitors from 32 countries and an attendance of 235,000 visitors, including over 101,000 trade visitors.

IFA will be held next year from 28 August to 3 September 2008 and will devote approximately one-sixth of its floorspace to the whitegoods and appliance manufacturers, including Miele and Bosch Siemens as well as potentially the world’s two largest manufacturers — Whirlpool and Electrolux.

The separate new platform of electrical home appliances reintroduces the Messe Berlin exhibition company to the whitegoods industry following the decision to discontinue the HomeTech event which was a one-off event in 2004 and was cancelled prior to its second show in March 2006. The longest running appliances show, Domotechnica, has continued to run every two years and is scheduled to be held in early 2008.

“The IFA 2008 is being expanded to include a new international trade show to be known as Home Appliances @ IFA,” the statement said.

Spokesman for the Home Appliance Associations and Miele co-owner, Dr. Reinhard Zinkann explained: “Starting in 2008 the manufacturers of home appliances will be taking part regularly in the IFA, which is now an annual event. The intention is to set aside 30,000 square metres of display space in Halls 1.1 – 6.1 on the Berlin Exhibition Site exclusively for the manufacturers of brand name products,” Dr Zinkann said.

According to Loewe chairman and GFU chairman, Dr. Rainer Hecker, there were some compelling reasons for this decision: “Manufacturers and dealers alike are aware that our markets are becoming increasing interlinked. We are delighted with the decision by the electrical home appliance industry and see this as an acknowledgement of the achievements of the CE industry and of the positive development of the IFA. Those involved will shortly be getting together to work out and present details of this collaboration.”

Bosch Siemens (BSH) board member and deputy chairman of the German Industry Association for Large Electrical Home Appliances, Ditmar Krusenbaum said: “The successful IFA concept provides an excellent basis for jointly setting up a leading international platform. We will be presenting dealers and the public with a very wide range of brand name products of outstanding quality in Berlin.”

Messe Berlin COO, Dr. Christian Göke, said: “This new development, with the inclusion of internationally well known brand names from the manufacturers of electrical home appliances, will give an additional boost to Berlin as an international trade show venue and to the IFA as a whole. This will benefit all the brand names attending the IFA.”

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