Leave Vegas! Berlin has the better show

The older people are still too young to remember: When the “Great German Radio Exhibition” started in 1924 in a single hall on the Berlin Exhibition Center, tube receivers were the latest craze. And that was not some exhibition. Over the years, several world premieres were presented at this fair: 1935 the first tape recorder, 1939 the so-called Volksfernseher, 1967 the PAL system for color television, 1971 the first video recorder, 1977 the Videotext, 1981 the Compact Disc (since nobody knew the word Streaming), 1985 HD TV, 2001 the first mobile phones.

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    1930: Albert Einstein opens the IFA. The world-famous physicist speaks at the opening of the 7th Great German Radio Show and Phono Show, at which a first “television demonstration receiver” will be presented – a year before the start of the first television broadcast in Germany (Photo: Bundesarchiv)
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    1975 GEC presents its latest products (Photo: IFA Berlin)
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    1975: Imposing impression from the hall of Telefunken (Photo: IFA Berlin)
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    1977: The German Federal Post Office informs about its on-screen text program in Hall 10 (Photo: IFA Berlin)
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    1985: Videotext with the FB 280 remote control is in the interest of visitors at the Telefunken stand (Photo: IFA Berlin)

Berlin hosted the radio exhibition until 1939. After the Second World War, they agreed on a usually two-year rhythm. After intermediate stops, including in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Frankfurt am Main, the exhibition returned in 1971 permanently back to Berlin. Since 2005, the IFA takes place again every year. And since 2005 it is also called only IFA, and no longer “International Radio Exhibition”.

94 years after its founding – shortly before the start of next Friday – the fair is regarded as an important hotspot in the industry and a magnet for the public. 1805 exhibitors and 253,000 visitors last year are a clear signal. On an exhibition area of ​​almost 160,000 square meters, records are set to be broken again this year. Visitors from more than 100 countries are expected in 2018: in addition to the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, the IFA in the field of consumer electronics is leading the way for trends and new products.


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CES and IFA get out of the way. While the IFA actually always runs late August / early September, the organizers in Las Vegas usually choose the January. CES will start in the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2019, ending on January 12th. However, the motto is similar to both events: CES sees itself as “The Global Stage of Innovation”, the IFA as “Global Innovation Show”.

The show starts on Friday in Berlin – the most important information:

Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm daily

Ticket prices: Single ticket € 17.50, concessions € 13, student ticket € 9, family ticket for two adults with up to three children under 18 years together € 36.

IFA search engine You are not sure if the manufacturer you are interested in is also at the IFA on site? With the “Virtual Market Place” the IFA offers a search, with which products, exhibitors, but also categories like Digital Health, Start-ups, Smart Home, Multiroom, Wearables, Augmented Reality, TV, Virtual Reality and Smartphone can be found ,

Terrain Tracking:Here you find the hall overview.

Networking: The IFA has set up its own networking tool where you can register and create a profile in order to find suitable contacts faster: – you can see all profiles already created here.

Important events within the IFA: In the summer garden there are live concerts, among others with James Blunt, Till Brönner, Olli Schulz, Wanda and Clueso. Extra tickets have to be bought for the concerts, but these are also valid as an IFA day ticket. So a visit to the fair can be combined with a concert. As part of the Telekom Street Gigs on 1 September, the Fantastic Four will be giving their first concert at Kraftwerk Berlin, which will be broadcast live in 3D and 360 GRad with VR180.

Extra event for teenagers and students: In the Young IFA WG – Hall 15.2 – the activities and workshops are bundled

Contest: 30 exhibitors have given away prizes. If you are in Berlin, you only have to confirm participation in the raffle with a tick on the ticket.

And if you can not make it to Berlin this year, LEAD will inform you in detail in the coming days about the most interesting new products and trends.

Maybe it works then at the latest on the anniversary with an IFA visit. The course has already been set by the operators. The IFA is booming and that’s why those responsible do not have to worry about the future. On the 100th anniversary in 2024, the organizers are taking big strides. Only this summer the contract with the Berliner Messegesellschaft was extended until 2023. After that, the IFA operators can still opt for a one-year extension. 2024 will be celebrated in Berlin.

In the age of rapid technology: The clever Smart Home product from 2018 at the 100th anniversary celebration may look like a tube receiver from 1924.

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