What are the challenges of the electronics fair being held in Berlin?

“Ready, steady, show!” After two years of absence due to the pandemic, the European IFA show opens its doors from September 2 to 6. Since 1924, the high mass of consumer electronics has been the meeting place for retail buyers, who come to sniff out manufacturers’ novelties, and the public, eager to discover the future tech equipment they will be able to afford. . But after the Covid years, the IFA faces new challenges.

1 – Prove your legitimacy

This summer, Kai Mangelberger, the show’s new director, wanted to be reassuring: “the fact that the number of exhibitors (more than a thousand) has returned to pre-pandemic levels shows that IFA 2022 is an expected event. by the profession as a whole.

However, in the aisles of the show, there are some notable absentees. Philips/TP Vision has deserted Hall 22. The Harman group (JBL, AKG, etc.), once a staple of the show, is absent. Just like HiSense. And Sony, which only dispatched its German team to the site, will not present any new features. Disenchantment, a question of budget? Where nothing to reveal?

“Beyond the brands which, for some, have deserted the IFA, beyond the media which no longer send as many journalists (20 minutes still moved), I would add that many customers have skipped this meeting this year and it is more worrying for the future of the show”, worries Jean-Yves Fabre-Darcourt , from Philips/TP Vision France.

In 2022, TP Vision is presenting its new Ambilight televisions in Berlin, but has deserted the IFA show. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

To present its new products and no doubt reduce its costs, the brand has preferred to invest in a vast building in Berlin for a week, where it receives media and buyers from distribution. “The episodes of confinement and remote working have shown us that a different model is possible, but also that the face-to-face model is still popular”, tempers Christian Debrosse, marketing director of Panasonic France, a brand present on the IFA.

“Yes it’s true, another model is undoubtedly possible, and we have demonstrated that we know how to adapt over the past few years. But this year, it was really important to meet again after two years of absence”, explains to 20 minutes Anne Martel, General Manager France of Electrolux. Differing opinions and strategies.

2 – Continue to innovate and make people dream

Many have noticed this at tech fairs (IFA in Berlin, CES in Las Vegas, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​etc.): major innovations have not necessarily been on the agenda for a few years. After the move towards all-digital and the wave of connected objects, a glass ceiling seems to have been reached in terms of innovations.

LG presents its OLED Flex display at the electronics fair IFA Berlin 2022.
LG presents its OLED Flex display at the electronics fair IFA Berlin 2022. – LG

This year again at the IFA, not necessarily a “wow” effect. LG will undoubtedly create a buzz with its OLED Flex television, whose flexible panel can be curved with a simple press of the button on its remote control (for more immersion for video games). Asus will stand out with its ZenBook 17 Fold Oled foldable screen computer, but we are mainly seeing renewals of already existing product lines on most stands.

“In purchasing criteria, we note the importance of the value of use by the customer of such and such technology or the importance of the product which “makes life easier” for customers”, deciphers Jean-Yves Fabre-Darcourt, the boss of TP Vision France. This “quest for comfort” is ranked 26th among consumers’ priorities (out of 57), according to a GFK study from last January, four points more than in 2020.

“The public is also attentive to more reasoned, more sustainable consumption. He does not hesitate to go upmarket for devices that will last longer,” adds Christian Debrosse at Panasonic. “There has been a real awareness during the pandemic and there is a tendency to want to consume differently. Consumers think more about their purchases and are very sensitive to the eco-responsible aspect,” confirms Anne Martel for Electrolux France.

3 – Be greener

Aiming for carbon neutrality in 2040, Harman Kardon announced it before the IFA: its JBL Go 3 Eco, Clip 4 Eco, Harman Kardon One 8 and Flip Essential 2 speakers which will be launched at the end of 2022 will be made from recycled materials. This trend wants to assert itself. “The general public is more and more aware of this point, and as a result, professional buyers too”, notes Christian Debrosse of Panasonic. Yes, according to Jean-Yves Fabre-Darcourt of TP Vision, “but respect for the environment remains a secondary selection criterion for professionals, with the exception of distributors who have decided to integrate it into their strategy”.

At the IFA, AEG presents much more water-efficient washing machines.
At the IFA, AEG presents much more water-efficient washing machines. -AEG

Eagerly awaited in the field of the environment and sustainability, manufacturers of household appliances are without doubt those who have the most leeway to distinguish themselves. AEG is also taking advantage of the IFA to present new washing machines with a steam function that saves 96% of water with a delicate program. Filters retaining up to 90% of the microplastic fibers released by synthetic clothing are also presented. Arguments that speak more and more to consumers.

“The IFA is also an opportunity to explain how, in concrete terms, we provide eco-responsible solutions through our latest innovations”, specifies Anne Martel, General Manager France of Electrolux. Who adds: “the price of energy is currently soaring and offering energy-efficient products, such as dryers with heat pumps which consume three times less energy than conventional dryers, is a real argument for consumers”. It remains to be seen whether they will be present at IFA, and whether, in the current context, will have the means to invest.

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