NEWS EDITORIAL Richard Barnes Editor-In-Chief The Key to Trade Show (and probably any) Success: People With 70% growth in trade show business for IFA organisers Messe Berlin over the past three years, the organisation’s dynamic CEO, Dr Christian Göke, explained, at this week’s opening press conference, the reasons behind this success: “We are very pleased with this overall result, to which IFA has contributed considerably. We are doing well with our existing shows, and we are thriving with regard to new market launches – especially abroad. But ultimately, this business is entirely driven by people, like Jens Heithecker (eds: IFA executive director) and Dirk Koslowski (eds: IFA senior executive manager), because we are a people business. We depend on our people to see the moment to seize the opportunities, to discover market openings and to see business models where other people do not see business models. Therefore, keeping our talent, growing our talent, making our talent feel at home in our company: this is probably the main critical success factor for us, and luckily enough, in our upper management, we have an incredibly low fluctuation over the last 50 years, and that helps tremendously.” When Dr Göke talks about Messe Berlin’s international adventures, he is referring to such initiatives as the already successful CE China show, the second edition of which took place earlier this year in Shenzhen, or the brand new ITB China show – a massive new travel and tourism trade event launched in Shanghai this year, which was also a phenomenal success. What’s around the corner? Another CE show? Watch this space in coming days… In any case, our hats go off to the entire IFA team; wonderful people thanks to whom this year’s show is set to be an exceptional vintage. IFA remains a significant global marketplace, with orders of over €4.5bn made here last year, and a similar figure projected for this year’s event. This year’s opening press conference, in the new “IFA NEXT” zone highlighted the reasons behind the outstanding success of the event. Journalist and television personality Melinda Crane introduced the IFA Opening Press conference on Wednesday with some impressive statistics: 145,000 professionals from 129 countries; and over 1,800 exhibitors across 159,000 sq m of exhibition space. Describing IFA as “a beacon for ground breaking discoveries”, Crane announced the creation of the Innovation Hub, the area in Hall 26b that brings together IFA+ Summit, the IFA keynotes and cutting-edge exhibitors under the IFA NEXT brand. Dr Christian Göke on stage at IFA opening press conference IFA 2017: Open for Business Industry leaders paint a highly positive picture of the sector as the gates open for this year’s show With a reminder of IFA’s past, Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, said that it was 50 years ago that colour television was first introduced to Germany – on August 25, 1967 at 10:57am – by Vice-Chancellor Willy Brandt, from West Germany at the Internationale Funk Ausstellung, via a televised presentation that began in black-and-white and ended in colour. Kamp had some encouraging statistics. Global sales of home electronic goods are 4% up on last year; there is year-on-year growth in most parts of the world, the highest being central & eastern Europe at 11% and Latin America at 10%; sales of UHD TV sets have reached 75 million units, up 40% on last year; and OLED TV sets have reached 1.2 million, a 122% increase on 2016. 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