IFA Berlin Wants to Lure More Japanese Firms

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
A view outside the venue during the opening day of the international consumer technology fair IFA in Berlin, Germany September 1, 2023.

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — Chief of the operator of the ongoing IFA tech show in Berlin expressed hopes for the participation of many Japanese companies when the event celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

Leif Lindner regretted that IFA could not reach out to Japanese companies sufficiently, after it turned out that their presence in this year’s event was weak when compared with Chinese and South Korean companies.

IFA was not able to “communicate to the Japanese society and community” the importance of the event, he said in a recent interview with Jiji Press and other media organizations.

Lindner stressed that IFA, one of the world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics, will be revamped on the occasion of its 100th anniversary to make itself “more entertaining” and “more relevant.”

He also said that IFA is considering holding street shows and live music performances to shine a light on the content industry.

Lindner, who says he has experience working for Japan’s Sony Corp., showed his strong commitment to IFA’s partnership with Sony.

“Sony is also part of Berlin,” Lindner said, expressing his desire to strengthen ties with the Japanese company which made itself rather low-key in this year’s event.

First held in 1924, IFA boasts its long history of displaying consumer gadget technology and innovation. German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein delivered a speech at the event in 1930.

Electronics makers, however, have begun to focus on software and services, and it has been a challenge for IFA to bridge the gap between such companies’ wishes and the event’s traditional display methods that became apparent after the novel coronavirus pandemic.

About 2,000 companies are participating in the exhibition this year. The event, which opened Friday and will run through Tuesday, is expected to attract over 180,000 visitors.