IFA 2020 is going ahead in Berlin as an in-person event

19 May 2020

Berlin, the city where IFA 2020 is set to be held. Image: © elxeneize/Stock.adobe.com

Though many trade shows, conferences and tech events have been cancelled in recent months, IFA 2020 is set to go ahead as an in-person event later this year.

Today (19 May), organisers of the consumer electronics trade show IFA announced that the event scheduled for September 2020 will go ahead as an in-person conference in Berlin.

The news comes after dozens of major tech events, conferences and trade shows were axed or moved online earlier this year, as concerns mounted about the spread of the coronavirus.

IFA 2020 is set to take place from 3 to 5 September, with a “tight limit on the number of attendees”, according to organisers. The event has been given the go-ahead to take place with a new “special concept” that is said to put health and safety first.

IFA 2020

The event, which will be invite-only, will focus on IFA’s four global core functions: showcasing innovation and brands, providing a platform for cutting-edge technologies, providing a sourcing event for OEMs and ODMs, and to offer a marketplace where retailers and brands come together.

In a statement, the event’s organisers said that it comes at a “crucial moment” for brands, manufacturers and retailers from around the world, ahead of the year’s most important shopping season stretching from Black Friday to Christmas.

Jens Heithecker, executive director of IFA Berlin, said: “After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase innovation, so that it can recover and rebound. The recovery of our industry starts here at IFA Berlin.

“While virtual events were useful, they were missing the immediacy, hands-on experience and human connections that make events like IFA Berlin so incredibly useful.”

Developed with public health authorities

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 participants. The organisers plan on enforcing physical distancing rules, implementing “careful crowd control” and taking other public hygiene measures.

IFA is moving its global press conference, which is usually held in April, to September. The conference will invite 800 journalists from more than 50 different countries to Berlin so that brands and manufacturers can 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,” the organisers said. “This keeps the numbers down for the on-site production staff and ensures that the highest hygiene standards are observed both on stage and in the seating area for the media.”

The opening keynote at IFA 2020 will be delivered by Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon, who said he is “looking forward” to speaking at the event and addressing the importance of connectivity during these uncertain times.

IFA 2020 will also feature business, retail and meeting lounges to give brands and manufacturers the “much-needed” opportunity to meet retailers ahead of the annual shopping season. For those who don’t receive an invitation to the in-person event, IFA is also offering a virtual experience.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic