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IFA 2020 aims to be the first post-coronavirus tech trade show

The IFA 2020 technology show will be held in Berlin, Germany this September say organizers, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will be the first major industry event to take place this year following the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, E3, SXSW, and many more. The plan for how to hold a safe IFA 2020 was presented by IFA executive director Jens Heithecker during an online press conference, who gave an optimistic overview of the reimagined event.

“IFA can take place, in real life, in Berlin; but based on a new concept,” Heithecker said. “It will be IFA, but not as we know it.”

In late April, show organizers revealed plane to move ahead with the show, with an “innovative new concept.” That concept has finally been revealed. It’s a trade show.

To make IFA 2020 possible there will be major alterations to the format, however. In previous years the IFA show has always been open to the public after a short period of time set aside for only press and exhibitors; but this year IFA will not be open to the public. The organizers will also limit the number of attendees able to visit the show to a maximum of 1,000 per day. With fewer people coming in, IFA says it will be easier to maintain crucial social distancing rules, and enforce greater controls over the flow of movement.

It will also be almost solely held on stage, rather than across hundreds of booths throughout many exhibition halls. Companies will present new products and strategies through tightly controlled press conferences, all held in organized spaces for limited amounts of people. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any booths at all. There will be a collection of smaller booths for media only, where journalists will have the chance to use new products and conduct face-to-face interviews.

Safety measures

Heithecker said Berlin is one of the cities least affected by the coronavirus in Europe, and the local authorities have deemed it safe for events with up to 5,000 participants to take place. Throughout his presentation, Heithecker reiterated he expected the global situation to improve further between now and September, and that the show would only go ahead if it was absolutely safe to do so. However, at this time no information was given on the health and safety measures that would be implemented.

“IFA 2020 will go ahead here in Berlin,” said Heithecker confidently. “We can make it happen safely, efficiently, and with impact.”

The show will be held over three days only, between September 3 and September 5 2020, and Qualcomm’s president Christiano Amon is the first confirmed keynote speaker. The IFA show covers all consumer technology products, from smartphones and kitchen appliances, televisions and audio equipment, to smart home and wearables.

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