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A look back… IFA BERLIN


22


Back to the future: IFA in retrospect


From Einstein to 8K, IFA Berlin has been a catalyst for new technology and growth in the world of electrical retail. But with no big show for the second year on the trot, Steve May instead looks back at some of the trade show’s recent highlights.


was caused by the outbreak of WWII (a reasonable excuse). It eventually made its return in 1950. Let’s hope for a similar bounce back in 2022... For the best part of a century, IFA has helped shape the electronics


F


industry (ERT has, of course, been attending much longer than that!). Launched in 1924, as the Grosse Deutsche Funkausstellung, that inaugural event focused on radio, which proved enough of a draw to secure 242 exhibitors and bring in 180,000 visitors. Albert Einstein famously opened what had then become the Great


German Radio and Phonographic Exhibition all the way back in 1930, proclaiming: “When you listen to the radio, also spare a thought for how humanity obtained this wonderful instrument.” In 1971, the trade show moved to its current home in Berlin, and adopted


the name Internationale Funkausstellung (some old hands still delight in calling it that). You can see the show's popularity in the inset picture above.


IFA circa 1975. Above inset: The Berlin show in 1973


or the second year running, due to COVID concerns, we’ve been denied our annual pilgrimage to IFA and the hallowed grounds of the Berlin Messe. The last big disruption to the show was back in 1939, and that


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