With a rented area of around 104,000 square metres and record participation by 1,212 exhibitors from 32 countries the IFA 2007 begins on 31 August 2007 at the Berlin Funkturm. These figures confirm the ongoing success of the IFA on the second occasion since it became an annual event. IFA is also becoming increasingly important as a marketing instrument for companies in Asia and North America. “Foreign exhibitors account for more than 60 per cent of the total, a consequence of the efforts to give the IFA a more international dimension“, according to Dr. Rainer Hecker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the IFA’s organisers Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik (gfu).
At the end of August it is already time for the world's largest con-sumer electronics trade show. The IFA 2007 event, held in Berlin Germany, will begin and is the trade show for both industry experts and the general public. We will attend the IFA show and will cover the consumer electronics show live from the show floor. This year there are more photo-related exhibitors present at the IFA event then the years before. This will also be the event where most of the new compact cameras and digital SLRs will be showcased. Those of you who are actually attending the IFA trade show will have the change to get a first look on products like the Nikon D300 or Canon 40D cameras, others may bookmark our special IFA 2007 report!
MP3 players can download their repertoire from a computer, home servers can send holiday photos to the flat screen: in 2007, the year of the IFA, digital consumer electronics is almost completely networked. Barely any of the countless products on display at the IFA 2007 operate in isolation any more. The digital exchange of entertainment and information is one of the most elementary capabilities of the latest equipment. The trend towards universal networking has been encouraged by the increasing speed of the transmission paths. Traditional ethernet cables, now carry up to 1 gigabit per second, a data rate that enables dozens of high definition video programmes to be carried simultaneously.
Trade visitors to this year’s IFA will again have an opportunity to take part in the themed tours. These will take them straight to the highlights of the various thematic areas and provide an opportunity for discussions about the latest trends with specialist from the companies on display. These tours will enable trade visitors to take a first look at the latest developments and, with time at a premium, to meet with representatives of companies in each of the specialist areas. This is also an ideal way for dealers to make contact with companies. In each case two or three innovative firms will be featured, whose experts will be on hand to present their latest products and answer questions.
Digital cameras are among the most attractive consumer electronics products: with a 12% increase in sales during the first half of 2007 they are among the most important factors driving growth throughout the industry. Sales of high-value SLR cameras have been particularly spectacular; rising 42%, with 250,000 of them having been sold in Germany between January and June. The IFA 2007 in Berlin will give a further boost to the upsurge in popularity of digital photography. Virtually all major digital camera manufacturers and photo printer suppliers will be using the trade show for consumer electronics to present their latest products to the trade and the public in time for the Christmas sales rush.
Music of the finest quality can be heard at the IFA: All the electronics needed to produce high quality sound can regularly be found there. The IFA section Audio Entertainment occupies a prominent place - in Halls 1.2., 2.2 and 3.2., right at the main entrance to the Messe Berlin grounds. It features all the top names in the world of sound, from the manufacturers of the latest hi fi and home cinema components to suppliers of equipment for mobile entertainment, and those manufacturers who produce real high end works of art in small quantities, thereby pushing the boundaries of what is feasible a little further each year. A visit to the IFA Berlin 2007 is essential for all home cinema enthusiasts.
The best images deserve the best sound too - which is why the IFA 2007 is also focusing in particular on the traditional section of “IFA Audio Entertainment”. In addition to numerous sound installations on the Exhibition Grounds and in Berlin, the subject of Audio will also be supplemented by panel discussions on all aspects and sound and how it is heard. Sound installations are being planned in Berlin to acquaint visitors more closely with the subject of listening during the IFA 2007. Placed at central locations, these “Soundscapes” will be producing some unusual noises and sounds such as horses’ hooves, rushing water and announcements in the underground, to attract attention and arouse interest.
Greater programme diversity, better image quality, more comfort - over the past ten years these have been the goals of network operators and programme services. What lies ahead of this media technology revolution? The Science and Technology Forum (TWF) will provide a wealth of answers not only of interest to trade visitors and media experts. Research facilities and project associations will be showing the future direction of the next generation of media technology. Programmes which up to now have run to fixed schedules will become interactive services, hitherto inactive viewers will become producers and creators of their own content, media services available to all will become personalised.