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In the face of extremely tight health and safety rules, IFA 2020 Special Edition successfully connected brands with media, retailers and the public for three engaging days back in early September. And while the 2020 event was deemed a success, the 2021 event is off to its best start ever, as it has been reported that over 60% of the exhibition space is already booked for IFA 2021. Special Edition Does Some Special Things Three days of keynotes, presentations and product launches took place in real life in Berlin, augmented by IFA’s new virtual platform, IFA Xtended Space. IFA 2020 had 150 companies presenting their ideas, and they were joined by an additional 1,350 exhibitors from 30 countries at IFA Xtended Space and the IFA Virtual Market Place. Even though IFA Xtended Space opened its virtual doors just a couple of days before the IFA 2020 Special Edition got under way, more than 78,000 people followed the IFA 2020 Special Edition online, and generated 262,000 views – watching the keynotes and press conferences, following panel discussions and exploring the virtual product demonstrations. This year’s IFA Xtended Space will be fully accessible until just before IFA 2021, so take a look when you have the chance. IFA 2020 Special Edition also hosted SHIFT Mobility meets IFA NEXT, an innovation platform that brought together start-ups, innovators and many companies shaping the future of mobility and everyday life. In addition, the IFA Business, Retail & Meeting Lounges provided an opportunity for brands and retailers to meet and do business in a safe, but face-to-face environment. “The IFA 2020 Special Edition showed us the impressive power of innovation. On a deeper level, it also showed us that the world needs these face-to-face meetings between industry, retail, consumers and media, and it is IFA that facilitated these crucial connections, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic”, said Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin. Jens Heithecker, Executive Director of IFA Berlin, added, “The IFA 2020 Special Edition sent an important signal: ‘tech is back,’ and the recovery and rebuilding of the industry starts here and now. Of course, we had to keep the numbers at this year’s IFA low, but it demonstrated the keen interest of everybody to meet in real life, and it sets us on the right track for a strong, full scale IFA 2021.”


“The IFA 2020 Special Edition showed us the impressive power of innovation. On a deeper level, it also showed us that the world needs these face-to-face meetings between industry, retail, consumers and media, and it is IFA that facilitated these crucial connections, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic”, said Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.
Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH explained, “First and foremost I would like to thank our partner Messe Berlin for putting together the concept of an IFA 2020 Special Edition, and then making it happen. This was a bold move, but it has been rewarded with the event’s success.”
As the first true hybrid event in the tech space since the pandemic hit, IFA 2020 Special Edition has now set the standard. “It brought people together, both in front of the screens and in person on the exhibition grounds in Berlin. IFA had a very special role to play this year and it fulfilled it perfectly. For the global markets, IFA provided important impulses at the right time in the run-up to the highest-turnover period as an innovation platform with numerous new product presentations,” Hillebrandt continued. “But as important as virtual components are in pandemic times, they never can replace human contact. Our goal for IFA 2021 will be to combine the traditional strengths of IFA - bringing together many innovations with even more people in one place - with the experiences of IFA 2020 Special Edition to create a robust future format.”
Digital Imaging Joins the Mix in 2021
IFA also announced an expansion for 2012 into the category of photography in cooperation with Berlin Photo Week. “Imaging has become a major trend in our world that extends far beyond private life. It plays a central role in medical technology, autonomous driving, AI technology and many other areas,” said Heithecker. For the 2021 event, Messe Berlin is partnering with Berlin Photo Week, a unique and innovative event format for everyone who loves images.  "Combining photo sessions, community experiences, artistic and cultural inspiration, the creation of irretrievable moments, partnerships that reach far beyond photography and media presence, the Berlin Photo Week is destined to become the novel imaging event format at the center of public attention", said Wolfgang Heinen from Berlin Photo Week. The Berlin Photo Week successfully debuted in 2019 when it attracted more than 30,000 primarily young photo enthusiasts, smartphone consumers, DSLR users as well as professionals. Berlin Photo Week's objective is to create a unique way to inspire enthusiasm for making and enjoying photos and videos. It harnesses the diversity of Berlin's landscape with the “Fun Place” as the event's focal point and numerous “Satellite” locations dispersed around the city. It also connects with Berlin's globally renowned creative scene.
The dates of Berlin Photo Week 2021 will overlap with the IFA 2021, enabling participants to profit from visiting both events. All Systems Go in 2021 The IFA 2020 Special Edition also puts IFA on track to run the show as a full-scale event. Set to take place from September 3-7 September 2021, organizers claim that IFA Berlin 2021 already has strong industry backing. So far, more than 60 per cent of the exhibition space has already been booked. “This is a new record. Never before have we had such strong interest so early, so far ahead of the start of IFA,” said Heithecker. IFA 2020 Special Edition was most certainly a bold move, and in looking back at the event, it was one that needed to be taken and one that has paved the way toward a new beginning for the consumer electronics industry. For more information, images, videos and press releases please check out the following links: Find all photos of IFA 2020 Special Edition here. Find all exhibitor press releases from IFA 2020 Special Edition here.
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