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Day 1 - IFA International

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News From Einstein to Google Dr Göke looks back on 90 years of ‘thought leadership’ By Richard Barnes “This is truly a very, very special moment for all of us…” Those were the opening words of Dr Christian Göke, COO of Messe Berlin, at this year’s official opening press conference. Speaking to a packed auditorium on Wednesday, Dr Göke started his address with a look back to the past, this being the 50 th edition of the show. “Imagine how many business deals and ideas have happened in 50 IFAs,” he said. It all began in 1924, when the First World War was still fresh in people’s memories. Even at that time, however, new technologies – in particular the brand new idea of radio transmission – was firing the world’s imagination. The very first event attracted 180,000 visitors to see 242 exhibitors on 3,300 sq m of floor space. Only four of the initial exhibiting companies are still at IFA today: Bosch, Siemens, Loewe and Telefunken. IFA was, until just a few years ago, biannual, which is why the event’s 50 th edition is being celebrated almost 90 years after its first incarnation. Over the years, IFA has fostered ‘thought leadership’ and has been the launch pad for many a new technology. Indeed, a notable keynote in 1930 saw Albert Einstein give a visionary speech on the future of radio. Dr Göke cited the great professor’s speech, in which he said: “When you listen to the radio, you think also about how people have come to possess such a wonderful tool of communication. Remember, too, that it is the engineers who make true democracy possible. They make works available to us all and awake the nations from their stupor. Radio in particular has a unique function to fulfil in terms of international reconciliation. Radio shows nations to each other in their most vivid form. It will contribute to ending mutual feelings of alienation, which could easily turn into mistrust and hostility.” Dr Göke added: “This was not long after the First World War, and the Nazi regime was on its way into power. So that was very special timing.” Echoing Einstein’s message, Dr Göke said that the Internet might be seen many years hence much in the same way as radio – as bringing people and nations together. IFA’s exhibition floor has increased massively in recent years. In 2010, 134,400 sq m of floor space has been rented – a hike of 11% on 2009. In total, 1,423 exhibitors are present this year, which represents an increase of 22% on 2009. Moreover, some 230,000 visitors are expected to attend the 2010 event. “These are truly satisfying n u m b e r s , ” D r G ö k e said. “We are the largest consumer-electronics and home-appliance show in the world.” He then compared the figures to “another CE” show in the US, observing that IFA has attracts more visitors and offers more exhibition space. This was, he said, a sign of both exhibitor trust in IFA and confirmation that the event is at the top of its game. He added: “The history of IFA is characterised by growth and stability – even in 2009, a year of economic crisis.” The increase in the number of exhibitors this year also reflects a surge in interest from Asian companies in marketing their products to the world. South Korea’s presence is up by 16% this year, and China’s by 21%. Meanwhile, there has been a massive increase in the number of Taiwanese and Hong Kong companies – up 66% and 53% respectively. In addition, UK participation has risen by 21%. Dr Göke Dr Christian Göke, COO of Messe Berlin underlined the fact that IFA offers an “international stage”, with keynotes from global leaders, such as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who will be addressing IFA delegates on Tuesday. “There is no substitute for the inside view from those at the top,” he said. The Messe COO ended by reminding the audience of journalists that their own numbers are also increasing year-on-year. In 2010, 1,800 journalists are expected to attend the event, up from 1,711 in 2009, 1,416 in 2008 and 1,371 in 2007. international O f f i c i a l D a i l y N e w s S o u r c e f o r I n t e r n a t i o n a l V i s i t o r s a t I F A IFA International is a CLEVERDIS Publication • 65 avenue Jules Cantini - Tour Méditerranée – 13006 Marseille • France • Tel: + 33 442 77 46 00 Fax: + 33 442 77 46 01 • SARL capitalised at e128,250 - VAT FR 95413604471 / RCS Marseille 413 604 471 • info@cleverdis.com • www.cleverdis.com During IFA: Press Center – Hall 6.3 – Room 401 • Tel: +49 (0)30 3038 81136 / Fax: +49 (0)30 3038 81146 • @ifa-international.org • www.ifa-international.org • Publisher: Gérard Lefebvre • Publishing Director: Jean-Guy Bienfait • Project Manager: Bettina Badon • Editor-in-Chief: Richard Barnes • Associate Editor: Jooree Cho • Editorial team: Neil Crossley, Michael Demiak, Marc Dezzani, Joe Morgan, Julian Newby, Emmanuel Poidevin, Gary Smith, Jo Stephens • Photos: Didier Baverel • Videos: Cine plus Media Service GmbH & Co. KG • Art Director: Hélène Beunat • Design & Page Setting: Valentina Russo, Guillaume Vinrich • Webmaster: Benjamin Ras • Marketing Manager: Jean-François Pieri • With the participation of: Chaofeng Chen, Pia Dewenter, Anthony Faget, Raphaël Pinot, Daniella Plastinina, Masha Polshinskaya, Marjorie Sanch, Valérie Sok • To contact them : first name.last name@ifa-international.org • Printing: Möller Druck und Verlag GmbH, Berlin, Germany • Cover: © Photo Messe Berlin • Printing: Möller Druck und Verlag GmbH (Berlin, Germany) © CLEVERDIS 2010 - Registration of Copyright September 2010 Information presented in this publication is purely indicative in order to illustrate subjectts contained therein. No guarantee can be given as to the accuracy of data or content at time of printing and thus the latter should not be used for professional or commercial ends. While all efforts have been made as to accuracy and pertinence of content and data contained in this publication, CLEVERDIS may in no case be held responsible for the consequences, whatever their nature may be, that may result from the interpretation of this data or content, or any eventual errors therein. Any reproduction of the content of this publication, even partial, by any means whatsoever, is strictly prohibited without the prior autorisation of the publisher. Any copy, whether by photography, photography film, magnetic tape, disc or other means constitutes a forgery, liable to punishment under French law according to the legislation of 11th March 1957 covering copyright. All brands cited in this publication are registered trade marks and/or belong to companies which are their respective proprietors. The publishers and editorial staff decline all responsibility as to opinions formulated in this publication by those interviewed or cited therein. Their opinions are entirely their own, and are included with the understanding that they contain, to our knowledge, no malicious intent. The inclusion of all texts, photographs and other documents supplied by those included in the encyclopaedia imply the acceptance by their authors of their free publication therein. Documents and photographs will not be returned. It should be understood that this publication contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include assumptions relating to the timing of the recorded date. If any of these risks or uncertainties materialises or any of these assumptions proves incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the expectations outlined in these statements. Cleverdis assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements during the period of publication. Photo Credits and Copyright: All Rights Reserved. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday, 3 rd September 2010 3

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