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ifa management

IFA Berlin is run by IFA Management GmbH – a joint venture founded by gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH together with Clarion Events Ltd, one of the world’s leading independent event organizers. 

Under the new partnership, IFA plans to build on its success by expanding its digital offering and the IFA Next brand to add more start-ups and innovative products to the event. The new partnership will invest in features, new experiences, and entertainment to generate more value and excitement for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.  

Oliver Merlin is the new Managing Director of IFA Management GmbH.  He is an events specialist having worked for many of the top organisers since 2011 to include Ascential, ITE and Hyve). His background is as a management consultant and he worked at Accenture for several years. “It’s a huge personal honour and privilege to become the Managing Director of IFA – a show with such prestige and iconic history.  It’s a once in a career opportunity to work on an event of such scale, importance and complexity.  IFA Berlin is without doubt the world’s pre-eminent trade show in consumer electronics and home appliances – two industries that are so important to every human on the planet.  Me and my team will work tirelessly in the service of our customers and their customers  - the consumers – to make sure IFA evolves and remains as vital and relevant to the world as it has ever been,”

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In 1973, 11 leading companies in the consumer electronics industry founded gfu in Germany. In 2015, the group of shareholders was expanded by manufacturers from the home appliance sector. The aim was and is to support these industries. gfu publishes market figures, consumer studies and industry surveys - and is the trademark holder of IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer and home electronics. Together with Clarion Events Ltd, gfu founded the joint venture IFA Management GmbH in autumn 2022 and entrusted it with the planning and implementation for the coming years.

Sara Warneke, who holds a PhD in economics, is the Managing Director of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, as the company is now called. She has been working in the sector for more than 10 years and brings with her relevant expertise and a network in the consumer and home electronics industry. "I am delighted that with IFA Management GmbH we have been able to establish a dynamic company that will ensure IFA remains a leading trade show and innovation platform focused on the future. Our wish, and that of our shareholders, is that IFA becomes a brand that peaks at the event in Berlin in September and provides momentum for all the industry sectors involved throughout the year."    

The shareholders of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH are the following companies: Astra Deutschland GmbH, Beko Grundig Deutschland GmbH, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Liebherr-Hausgeräte GmbH, Loewe Technology GmbH, Metz Consumer Electronics GmbH, Miele & Cie. KG, Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH, Philips GmbH, Samsung Electronics GmbH, Sharp Electronics GmbH, Sony Europe B.V.

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We organise both live and digital events every year, attracting buyers with spending and decision-making power who are looking for solutions and innovations to help move their businesses forward. Putting them in contact with the providers of these solutions, and with each other, is the overriding objective, always.

We invest heavily in the management of IFA and its team to create a new dynamic, forward thinking and digital culture. Industry leader Oliver Merlin, who has many years experience managing large-scale events, joins to lead the IFA team and establish a new office in Berlin and help spearhead new initiatives. Simon Kimble, Ex-Chairman and Clarion non-executive director, Chris Gallon Managing Director of Clarion EMEA also join the JV’s management board, bringing years of experience, to work with the gfu and its key customers to help the event, both in its live and digital formats, achieve its full potential.

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