IFA executive director and Messe Berlin Group executive director, Jens Heithecker confirmed IFA 2022 is going ahead as a “full size, real life, hands-on event without compromise” from 2 to 6 September.
During a media briefing, Heithecker said: “At last, I can confidently make this statement on behalf of Messe Berlin and gfu, the host of IFA. Like so many parts of the world, we had to hit pause and effectively take a two-year break. In 2020, we had a small-scale IFA special edition and last year, with more Covid variants emerging, we had to cancel our event outright. For both exhibitors and visitors, the risk of a sudden new lockdown was simply too big.
“The health regulations at the time would have allowed us to go ahead with IFA 2021 but what if a new variant like Omicron had arrived a few months earlier. We simply couldn’t take the risk. Importantly, we didn’t want anybody else to have to take this risk,” he said.
“Now it’s 2022 and the situation has changed significantly. Most of the world is finally emerging from this pandemic and it’s time to reconnect, collaborate and co-innovate, and to meet people face to face. It’s time for a return to normal – but let’s be clear, it won’t be the normal of 2019 as our world has changed too much for that. But there is something that hasn’t changed – the human fundamentals and the need to meet in real life.
“That’s why our industry – brands, manufactures and retailers – are raring to come back to Berlin to fill the halls of Messe Berlin and make IFA 2022 a success.
“We’ve had 15 of our top 20 exhibitors already confirm that they will be at IFA 2022 and nearly all of them at the same scale as 2019. For the bigger picture, we are seeing strong bookings across the board for our exhibition spaces.
“The pandemic triggered a boom for technology products and over the last two years, our world has become more digital than ever before. This has triggered a huge amount of innovation for new products and services. Consumers have new expectations of how they want to live and work with new hybrid work patterns.
“Because the experience of innovation and the joy of hands-on discovery has faded, brands now urgently need to reconnect with retailers, the media and most importantly with consumers. Our industry needs a platform that allows them to clear up any uncertainties about supply chains and helps them refocus their marketing activities so brands can reconnect with consumers.”
For those who are unable to travel to Berlin for IFA 2022, there will be an extensive virtual program.
“What we will bring online and show in a virtual space are real-time events that bring people to Berlin including press conferences and keynotes,” Heithecker said.