IFA 2007 Sets New Records



    Further Increase in International Participation - Outstanding
Entertainment Programme - IFA Restructured

    BERLIN, August 29 /CNW/ - With a rented area of around 104,000 square
metres and record participation by 1,212 exhibitors from 32 countries the IFA
2007 begins on 31 August 2007 at the Berlin Funkturm (Radio Tower). These
figures confirm the ongoing success of the IFA on the second occasion since it
became an annual event.

    In addition to strong representation from the trade and industry in the
European core markets the IFA is also becoming increasingly important as a
marketing instrument for companies in Asia and North America. "Foreign
exhibitors account for more than 60 per cent of the total, a consequence of
the efforts to give the IFA a more international dimension", according to Dr.
Rainer Hecker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the IFA's organisers
Gesellschaft fur Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik (gfu).

    Dr. Christian Goke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin, added: "The
high overall level of international participation is one of the hallmarks of
the IFA. This year the IFA records one of the largest international
participations of recent years by exhibitors and in particular by trade
visitors. Consequently all the indications are that this will be a successful
event. We can offer the entire consumer electronics sector ideal surroundings
for business, and a highly attractive programme of shows and entertainment for
visitors."

    "The success of the IFA matches that of the market for consumer
electronics products, a market that has been experiencing growth for a number
of years. Attractive and innovative products are the reason for this",
explained Dr. Hecker. At the same time the market is experiencing more dynamic
growth as new products, technologies and possibilities are presented and
introduced at an ever faster pace. In most European countries this has
resulted in encouraging expansion of the market.

    "We are certain that this welcome development of the market will continue
into the second half of the year, and the IFA will help by providing a
valuable impetus. In concrete terms we anticipate sales of Consumer
Electronics devices will increase by 5,3 per cent to 62,3 billion euros in the
ten most important European countries. In Germany Consumer Electronics growth
should exceed two per cent, with a sales volume of 23 billion euros. In 2008
we expect market expansion to be as positive in Europe and in Germany as it
was in 2007", commented Dr. Hecker.

    Messe Berlin and Gesellschaft fur Unterhaltungs- und
Kommunikationselektronik (gfu) are optimistic of exceeding last yer's
attendance figure of 225,000. Dr. Christian Goke: "We can delight visitors to
the IFA with a programme of entertainment of a kind has not been seen before
in the last decade. In the IFA Summer Garden and on the exhibitors' many
stages a total of more than 70 shows and concerts will provide first class
entertainment. Over 200 prominent stars and future stars will be appearing at
the IFA."

    Intensified partnership with dealers

    The leading dealers' cooperative groups and the IFA are intensifying
their traditional partnerships as a means of ensuring that the world's leading
CE trade show more accurately reflects the interests of the cooperating
dealers. These strategic partnerships are intended to provide European dealers
with a single location where they can gain access at to the international
consumer electronics sector in its entirety. "For the gfu as the organiser of
the IFA this intensified collaboration with international dealers'
cooperatives is one of the cornerstones of this event. Together with these
partners we are continuing to develop the IFA as the industry's most important
event and venue for orders, thereby ensuring the success of all involved.
Dealers are the real VIPs of the IFA", is how Dr. Rainer Hecker views the
intensive partnership with the trade.

    81 outstanding specialist events

    Once again the IFA rolls out the red carpet for specialist dealers and
trade visitors. In addition to tried and tested services for trade visitors
the IFA will also feature leading figures from the industry and a total of 81
outstanding specialist events.

    The IFA International Keynotes in particular will be the focus of
attention for the media and trade visitors from all over the world. Each
morning and afternoon for three days, from 31 August to 2 September, leading
managers from the industry will be providing in-depth details and
investigating current issues, topics and trends from many different areas of
consumer electronics. They will also be presenting their strategies for the
future on digital markets. IFA International Keynotes 2007 will feature the
high ranking executives Rudy Provoost, Executive Vice President and Chief
Executive Officer Philips Consumer Electronics; Norio Niwa, Executive Vice
President Seiko Epson Corporation; Guerrino De Luca, President and Chief
Executive Officer Logitech; George Bailey, General Manager, IBM Global
Electronics Industry; Andreas Westhoff, Chief Sales Officer NAVIGON AG.

    medienpoilitk@IFA and serviceforum@IFA

    Media policy issues have traditionally occupied a place at the IFA. The
specialist forum medienpolitik@IFA provides a venue this year for media
experts from all over Germany to discuss the subject of "Competition between
Infrastructures - Internet and Traditional Media". Among the gests attending
this meeting will be Kurt Beck, State Premier of Rheinland-Pfalz and Chairman
of the States' Broadcasting Commission. This year Minister President Beck is
again acting as patron of our entire series of events under the heading of
"medienpolitik@IFA", consisting of three public round table meetings in Hall
26, on 31 August, and on 3 and 4 September, taking place each day from 2 to 3
p.m.

    serviceforum@IFA for the second time in 2007

    For traditional specialist dealers, discounters, full-range stockists or
other outlets - every supplier knows that they cannot afford to have
dissatisfied customers. But service structures are changing, presenting new
challenges each day to dealers and the industry. The serviceforum@IFA is aimed
primarily at decision-makers from the ranks of specialist dealers and the
craft trades, as well as at the representatives of industry and the media.
This round table discussion takes place from 11 a.m. to 12 midday on 2
September in Hall 26.

    IFA restructured

    The IFA 2007 has undergone restructuring in order to provide an
up-to-date picture of the dynamic consumer electronics market, to reflect the
new main themes of this sector and to help customers to find their way around
more easily.

    This new concept also takes into account the customers' viewpoint. A poll
of visitors to the IFA revealed that customers have a pragmatic approach
regarding a visit to the IFA. They first ask the question: what content do
customers want to use? This can be divided into public content - such as
YouTube, which is accessible to all, and private - for example digital photos
which they create themselves. This is followed by questions concerning the
type of equipment which they use to receive the content, and with which they
can process it. Such vital questions have now been accorded their own place in
the IFA layout: IFA Home Entertainment, IFA Audio Entertainment, IFA My Media,
IFA Public Media, IFA Communication and IFA Technology & Components.

    Technical trends at the IFA

    High definition quality, simple controls and unrestricted mobility, these
are the main product trends at the IFA 2007. Always at the heart of this
year's innovations is the increasing adoption of high definition media.
Consequently a growing number of 2007 television sets bear the "Full HD"
symbol of quality, indicating that they can offer the best possible levels of
high definition with the full 1080 lines. Substantial qualitative improvements
are also promised by the latest generation of picture processing equipment: An
increasing number of them use the 100 hertz technology, already known from the
analogue era, which enables them to display movement in a natural and flowing
way on the screen. 24p is another current technical abbreviation, indicating
the ability of equipment to show the content from Blu-ray or HD-DVD discs with
maximum precision on the screen.

    In addition to technology that provides sharp, clear pictures with a
clean contrast, ease of operation is becoming ever more important too. The
top-of-the-range television sets at the IFA 2007 come ready equipped with HDTV
receivers and hard drives for time-delay viewing.

    For perfect pictures that recreate that Hollywood feeling in the living
room the second generation of players can handle Blu-ray discs and HD-DVDs.
Not only is there an unprecedented range of different models, there is also a
much wider choice of interfaces and formats for reproducing images and sound.
One solution that will certainly stand the test of time: a second model is now
on show at the IFA that can play back both of these new media formats.

    For the demanding home movie maker high definition technology has become
more or less essential. The IFA 2007 is presenting HD camcorders from
virtually every major manufacturer in a range and diversity never before seen
at a trade show. The new HD models record using every conceivable storage
medium, from blank DVDs to cassettes and hard drives and chip cards. And one
item is making its world debut: the first model capable of recording high
definition images onto an eight centimetre Blu-ray disc.

    In the world of outstanding sound quality the evolution of high
definition is setting new standards. For the first time the latest AV
receivers, for example, are now able to decode the new high definition,
loss-free multi-channel sound formats offered by the Blu-ray disc and HD-DVD.
This enables them to carry surround-sound from up to eight channels to the
loudspeakers with the same degree of precision as was achieved in the studio
with the original recording. This makes home cinema systems an even more
attractive proposition for digital concerts too.

    Mobility is the other important factor driving digital innovation, and it
is featured on virtually every stand at the IFA 2007. Mobile communication,
information and entertainment, they are all central components of the digital
lifestyle, which the IFA displays more comprehensively than any other trade
show. The massive public interest in sat-nav equipment is especially
impressive. This year these digital route-finders include even more realistic
map displays, attractive tourist information and many supplementary multimedia
functions to delight visitors to the IFA. The IFA 2007 can also claim a world
first in the field of mobile televisions: the Science and Technology Forum
(TWF) in Hall 5.3 is showing how mobile phones and other mobile terminals will
in future be able to receive TV signals and multimedia content via a
combination of satellite transmissions and terrestrial distribution.

    Another innovative method of distributing digital media content is
already a commercial reality, and of course can be examined in-depth at the
IFA: television over internet protocol, or IPTV for short. Already IPTV
services are combining many different functions: Television, online
videotheques, video recording, electronic programme guides, the internet and
communication by voice and picture, a typical example of the convergence
taking place in the new digital media world.




For further information:

For further information: Messe Berlin GmbH Michael T. Hofer Group Press
and Public Relations Director www.messe-berlin.com or Press and Public
Relations for IFA Anja Schenk, Press Officer Tel: +49 30 3038-2217 Fax: +49 30
3038-2071 schenk@messe-berlin.de www.ifa-berlin.com or Press and Public
Relations for gfu Roland M. Stehle Tel: +49 911 3777900 Fax: +49 911 3777901
stehle@gfu.de www.gfu.de

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MESSE BERLIN GMBH

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