23 Nov 2023

New IFA CEO charts path for IFA centennial, set to "Celebrate culture's greatest tech innovations"

New IFA Management CEO Leif Lindner (right) with moderator, PEAK Creative Leadership founder Ole Tillmann (left)
Leif Lindner, the new CEO of IFA Management, gave the international press an exclusive sneak peek on November 22 in the leadup to IFA’s 100-year anniversary next year.

Making next year's show a real "once-in-a-lifetime" celebration, IFA’s centennial will have something for everyone. For exhibitors and decision-makers, the event will include a glamorous opening gala; a world class conference concept, which Leif Lindner underlined will focus on “quality not quantity” and discuss the cultural impacts of the technologies “everyone is talking about”, including AI and quantum computers; valuable networking events; and an evolved IFA Next. For consumers, the event will be both entertaining and relevant, including more and improved brand activations, an attractive entertainment programme and an enhanced visitor experience and storyline, living up to IFA 2024's tagline “Celebrating culture's greatest tech innovations.” 

Continuing the tradition of innovation

Mr Lindner looked to both the past and the future, emphasising how proud he is as a Berliner to be at the helm of such an iconic show: “As a Berliner, I grew up with IFA. It’s the leading trade fair for consumer electronics in the world. Albert Einstein opened the Funkausstellung 1930 with his own personal words. So it's truly unique.” Mr Lindner enumerated other iconic moments in IFA’s history, including the presentation of the first colour TV, the first walkman and the first OLED TV. “IFA has a strong heritage and we are able to bring this heritage into a new modern format with IFA 100.” 

"IFA 100" will continue in this tradition of innovations, creating a unique cultural moment and industry event that “celebrates the future of technology” and “creates moments nobody will forget.” The IFA brand is incorporating its core values of trust (in the brand and the experience), curiosity (continuing to provide visitors with the latest tech innovations), community (bringing people from the industry together) and inspiration. Mr Lindner stressed the importance of these values: “If we focus on these four brand values, we will be successful.”

IFA 2024: 100 moments

An integral part of the IFA team’s vision for IFA 2024 is the concept of “100 moments”. “100 Moments will bring visitors in touch with innovations and celebrate the moment. It's a citywide takeover, so partners and exhibitors together with us of course, will create these moments,” Mr Lindner explained. The moments will be organised in three tiers, tier one being larger-scale activations. For example, a pop-up espresso bar will showcase the talents of various coffee machine manufacturers, hosting tastings and workshops in an unexpected location. Tier two will include more medium size events, using gadgets that are already on the market to bring together consumers and the city of Berlin, for example with photo booths all over Berlin in partnership with a brand, creating special opportunities with a mobile phone or camera. Tier three moments will be harnessing the power of digital and AR, allowing users to connect to IFA in a digital creative space, for example through a cooking master class. 

Takeaways from 2023

Looking back on IFA 2023, Mr Lindner said he was “quite happy”  with the results, citing that there were over 180,000 visitors and over 2,000 exhibitors. Press coverage of the event was positive, and he qualified that  “Of course there is room for improvement as always, but overall IFA 2023 was definitely a success.”

When it came to areas for improvement, Mr Lindner stressed the importance of customer feedback and how seriously he took it into consideration. Some main areas for improvement from the 2023 edition included communication, navigation (i.g. newsletters, apps and on-site directions showing people where to go) and giving IFA more of an event- or "festival"-feel, drawing in as many journalists and as large a media presence as possible. IFA’s 100-year anniversary, he argued, will be the perfect time for this transformation.

“This year, it was visible that IFA was going down a new path, that there has already been some change. IFA 100 is an absolutely perfect moment to show this change.”

Berlin: a playground of tech innovation

The overriding message from the discussion with IFA Management’s new CEO Leif Lindner was clear: IFA has heard the industry's feedback and is striving to take what has worked well in the past and make it even better. Ahead of IFA’s 100-year anniversary, exhibitors, buyers and visitors can look forward to Berlin becoming a playground of tech and innovation as IFA strengthens its reputation as the largest trade fair for consumer electronics in the world, and an epicentre for the future of the industry and our society as a whole.

"IFA 100 will be a unique and once-in-a-lifetime moment to celebrate culture's greatest tech innovations together, in Berlin!", Lindner concluded.

Watch the full video of the press conference below.

Stay tuned for updates and details about IFA’s 100-year anniversary events and celebrations.

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