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The world’s leading appliance and consumer electronics brands will be descending on Paceville in Malta next week for the ninth annual IFA Global Press Conference. This is the second time Malta has hosted this prestigious and vitally important expo, having previously staged the 2009 event.

The event’s three frantic days comprises product unveilings, power briefings, analyst presentations, networking and, of course, the actual press conference to officially launch the 2015 IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited show in Berlin in September.

The list of exhibitors and delegates for the conference reads like a who’s who of modern technology. Samsung, Philips, Bosch, Dyson, ZTE, Miele, Haier, Siemens, Gibson and Grundig will be there, as will leading market research firm GfK and analyst firm IHS.

“We are delighted to have secured outstanding partners for our event,” IFA executive director Jens Heithecker told me. “Situated in the heart of St Julian’s and with excellent conference facilities, all the conditions for a successful IFA Global Press Conference 2015 have been met.”

IFA uses this press conference to start drumming up interest in and excitement for the full blown IFA, which is getting bigger and bigger every year and has become the closest thing Europe has to a CES. Publicity reasons aside, the event is itself an incredibly powerful platform to launch new products, as seen last year when I revealed that Miele was set to release its first robot vacuum cleaner.

At the event in Malta, we’ll learn which companies will be exhibiting at IFA, who will be making the keynote addresses and what themes will be prevalent at the show. Smart appliance, the internet of things, robots and wearables are all expected to be key topics of conversation.

The 2015 IFA Global Press Conference is being held 23-26 April 2015 at the InterContinental Malta. IFA proper will be held 4-9 September 2015 in Berlin.