Global consumer electronics show IFA is all set to be the first major real-life event of the year for the industry when it opens in Berlin in September after the COVID-19 pandemic either forced the cancellation of most tech shows or led to the creation of their virtual avatars. However, due to safety concerns, IFA 2020 will not be open to the public. It will run as an invitation-only event, the organisers said on Tuesday in a virtual press conference.
The duration of the event also got shortened as this year it will spread over just three days – September 3-5 – instead of the usual one-week-long affair. “After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase its innovation, so that it can recover and rebound. The recovery of our industry starts here at IFA Berlin,” Jens Heithecker, the Executive Director of IFA Berlin, told reporters.
The opening keynote for this year’s IFA will be delivered by Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm, according to the organisers of the event. The event also comes at a crucial moment for brands, manufacturers and retailers around the world, just ahead of the year’s most important shopping season stretching from Black Friday and Singles Day to Cyber Monday, Christmas and beyond. The organisers of the event said that the concept for IFA 2020 was developed in close collaboration with public health authorities in Germany to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
The organisers said they will make sure that social distancing, careful crowd control and other effective public hygiene measures are all in place. This year’s IFA will effectively be run as four stand-alone events, with not more than 1,000 attendees for each event per day. IFA also moved its Global Press Conference, which usually takes place in April, to September. It will invite around 800 journalists covering 50+ countries to Berlin, so brands and manufacturers will be able to show journalists their latest products and devices.
All keynotes and company press conferences will take place on just two or three keynote stages curated by IFA. In addition to company press conferences, industry partners will have the chance to create smart company and brand presentations for interviews and further talks with media representatives, IFA said. Starting with the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona in February, most technology events got cancelled, postponed or made virtual this year.