Hear from the Experts on IFA 2019 Communication Strategies
The IFA is Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show and plays host to hundreds of new product launches. To help businesses finalizing their IFA preparations, our team did extensive research and interviewed European technology media to provide unique perspectives from the IFA organizer, exhibitors and the media.
Established in 1924, the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) Berlin or the Berlin Radio Show, has grown into one of the best-known exhibitions in Germany and the biggest consumer electronics show in Europe. In 2018, 244,055 attendees from 129 countries and 1,814 exhibitors from 49 countries were present during the IFA’s six-day run. Over 100,000 of these attendees are trade visitors who come to the show to learn and potentially purchase new product lines. This year’s exhibition will take place from 06-11 September 2019.
To help innovative businesses who are finalizing their IFA preparations, our team has researched trade publications and interviewed European journalists to provide perspectives from the exhibition organizer, exhibitors and the media. Why is it important to hear from this group of stakeholders?
Messe Berlin organizes three consumer electronics retail exhibitions – IFA, Berlin (06-11 September), CE Week, New York (12-13 June), and CE China, Guangzhou (19-21 September). From these global exhibitions, Messe Berlin collects a great deal of exclusive data, such as trade visitors’ surveys, what topics speakers are most interested in and feedback from their press events. In particular, CE Week’s panel topics are likely to be replicated at IFA. Exhibitors may choose to launch products that are aligned with panel topics to boost their chances of attracting additional trade visitors and journalists.
IFA exhibitors need to stand out from the crowd – it is essential to showcase their companies’ unique capabilities to the media to build up trust and reach an audience beyond the exhibition halls. We have shortlisted a few well-crafted IFA media elevator pitches (read in 30 seconds or less) from leading exhibitors such as Bosch as this offers useful reference points for others seeking to differentiate their own IFA positioning and communications strategy.
Over 6,000 journalists attended the IFA last year. But most of these journalists are laser-focused on visiting a list of exhibitors to write the stories that win the highest number of reads and influence for their publications. So, it is essential to reach out to the relevant media before this exhibition to share why your story angles fit in well with their readers’ interests. PR Newswire has interviewed European technology media covering the IFA to help exhibitors enhance their press releases and media pitches.
Messe Berlin, IFA Organizer
What’s Hot – The 2019 IFA panel topics are not available yet. But the panel topics for CE Week offer a useful reference point as it was also organized by Messe Berlin in June this year:
- 5G Technology – How 5G Will Alter the Retail Landscape
- 5G Networks – The Keys to Smart City Growth
- 8K is Coming – What it Means and How to Sell It
- Designing for Tech – The Power of Partnerships (in a separate IFA Global Press Conference in April, IFA management stressed the focus on “co-innovation” as additional expertise from collaborators enrich ideas to deliver a superior customer experience).
Awards at the IFA – Similar to the CES show, the IFA recognizes design excellence. The UX Design Awards 2019 recognizes the most innovative user-centric services, products and concepts. All nominated solutions will be displayed at a designated exhibition area and honored at a festive awards ceremony during the IFA show. User-centricity is a recurring theme at the IFA. According to Jens Heithecker, Executive Director IFA, “It is typical of the IFA that we not only talk about the latest technologies. Above all, we show what they bring to the consumer and how they are used from the consumer’s point of view.”
Apart from technology, what else matters, Dirk Koslowski, Director of IFA Berlin – “In the field of technology, trust means solving problems for consumers and fulfilling their expectations, not just for a short period but from a long-term perspective.”
PR Tip: Showcasing innovative technological solutions by itself is insufficient to win trust from new consumers. If exhibitors have local partners to help service these new consumers, highlight these partnerships in your communications materials.
Source: IFA Innovation Media Briefing
Harald Friedrich, Managing Director
Bosch has devoted particular attention to the topic of quiet household appliances. The results are the quietest washing machine in the world, the quietest dryer in the world, and the quietest dishwasher in the world. They are embedded in the Bosch Silence Edition.
Dr. Thorsten Böker, Director of Product Management
With Smart Things, Samsung is rethinking the Smart Home. The focus is on the user: the entire system is tailored to his needs. We want an open partner network. To this end, we work together with a large number of partners. Almost 5,000 device models from over 80 partner companies can be integrated into our modular concept. Many things can also be controlled via Bixby with voice commands.
Horst Nikolaus, Managing Director
As a specialist for fully automatic coffee machines, Jura presents the further developed ena 8 with 2.8-inch color touch screen and artificial intelligence. An algorithm recognizes the personal preferences and automatically adjusts the start screen with the hot beverage selection. Also new is J.O.E. – Jura Operating Experience, which brings all the functions of Jura fully automatic machine operation to the smartphone, including voice control.
Despite the brevity of these pitches (less than 70 words for each), they are well-crafted and generally adhere to the classic 5W1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) in terms of composition. For example, Jura’s pitch contains:
- Who – Horst Nikolaus, Managing Director of Jura, who is making this pitch and can be quoted accordingly.
- What – He is pitching the ena 8 fully automatic coffee machine.
- When – Since this pitch was sent to journalists as part of IFA Innovation Media Briefing newsletter, it is implied that this coffee machine model will be featured at the IFA.
- Where – One area where Jura could have done better by stating whether this model is meant for home or commercial use. The smartphone functionality does hint it is probably used at home.
- Why – AI personalization and a “smarter” experience with machine operation through a smartphone.
- How – Delivering AI personalization and smartphone experience through a touchscreen and the new J.O.E operating system. The J.O.E acronym is a nice touch, as many coffee-lovers refer to coffee as a “cup of joe”.
PR Tip: These media elevator pitches (read in 30 seconds or less) showcases a range of different styles. You may have noticed that the reading journalists may think of a headline easily, e.g. “Bosch launches the quietest household appliances in the world at the IFA” and select various story angles such as how Jura’s coffee machine delivers a more personalized cup of coffee through various features.
The 5W1H guide works for other communications materials too! Keep this in mind as you craft communications materials such as press releases, brochures and videos.
IFA Technology Media
Source: PR Newswire Interviews
Basic Tutorials, Languages: German and English
Simon Lüthje, Editor-in-chief
We are an official IFA Global Media Partner based in Germany. We specialize in news and tutorials from hardware, consumer electronics and games. Our readers seek deeper insights into the current state of the market as well as future technologies. We seek to prepare these insights in an interesting and understandable manner. Home Entertainment & VR, IT Hardware and Smart Home will be our focus at the upcoming IFA.
Play3R, Language: English
Craig Bartlett, Editor-in-chief
We are based in the UK, reporting news and providing in-depth product reviews on PC technology such as peripherals and notebooks. Our news reviews are supplemented by our YouTube channel and live Twitch content. We appreciate relevant press releases as it means our audience won’t miss out on the latest news and product innovations.
Virtual Perceptions, Language: English
Tom Ffiske, Editor
We are a leading UK-based website highlighting the exciting trends and companies in Immersive Reality (VR, AR, MR). We cover related topics, from what headset manufacturers are making, to the software that runs training simulations. Immersive technologies are impacting many industries, from medicine to the military, as well as creating new ways to play games. Readers seek to know about what is happening, and read long-form features on trends.
Wareable Media Group, Language: English
Paul Lamkin, Director
We created Wareable in 2014 and are based in both the UK and the US. We are dedicated to wearable technology, with three consumer-facing websites, including Wareable, The Ambient and the newly-launched Get Sweat Go. Wareable helps people to get more from the things they love doing with wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers. We’re excited to see how the smart home revolution evolves and what new wearables will be on show.
As you can see, the media tends to position themselves precisely, e.g. immersive technology, wearables. Therefore, exhibitors need to be targeted in their media outreach, while explaining how their products are part of these ongoing trends to establish their credentials as journalists are keen to cover the latest trends and insights on future technology.
PR Tip: Before the IFA, we recommend that exhibitors shortlist the relevant media in their target markets and reach out to these media through targeted, related and multi-lingual press releases with clearly-stated news hooks focusing on the “latest news and innovations” that are likely to deliver readership numbers. At the same time, you may tap on a media database such as Cision Communications Cloud to pitch to the relevant local media with the most significant interest in IFA coverage based on their attendance at the official news conference.
Industry observers have noted that the IFA is all about making business deals (official estimates indicate over $5 billion in sales contracts are signed at every edition of the IFA), not buzz about prototypes that never ship. Media coverage is critical to building buzz and trust in businesses during this crucial period. Therefore, it is vital to plan a communications strategy that differentiates your brand while reaching out to journalists in a targeted manner. To learn more on how to leverage press releases and Cision Communications Cloud as part of your communications strategy, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!