History of the IFA

From “Deutsche Funkausstellung” to the most important trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances: ​:

Running since 1924, IFA has seen a lot of success. Its unique concept as a public exhibition and sourcing fair is what makes it so important.

A global industry venue

IFA in Berlin is the world’s most important platform for the international consumer electronics and home appliance industry. Since the first exhibition in 1924, IFA has seen a lot of success. It’s unique concept as a public exhibition and sourcing fair is what makes it so important.

IFA has grown continuously in all areas and appeals to a steadily growing international audience. With its expertise, it is positioned more strongly than ever before as the most important exhibition and meeting place for the global industry. New exhibition areas successfully showcase new product categories.

Important specialist trade cooperations have strengthened their commitment in Berlin and integrated their autumn events into IFA.

From 1924 to 1939

Predecessor of IFA: “Funkausstellung”

When the “Funkausstellung” began, it was dominated by detector devices and tube radio receivers. This was followed by superhet receivers, grammophones, the first sound recording technologies, live broadcasts from the exhibition grounds, as well as the first European car radio. The radio tower was inaugurated on 3 September 1926. The first television sets were exhibited at the end of the 1920s, and in 1930, the first fully electronic television transmission was featured.

Von 1950 bis 1970

Brave new (colour) television world

The new beginning is marked by ultra short wave, semiconductor technology, televisions and remote controls. This was followed by stereo sound, compact cassettes, color television, video recorders and video discs.

Von 1971 bis 1989

IFA becomes international

Home video recorders, quadrophony, camera recorders, traffic information via broadcast and teletext were the buzzwords of these times. Dual channel and stereo sound enrich televisions, CD, DAT and televisions featuring digital technology were introduced. In 1985, HDTV is shown for the first time, and the first receivers for satellite televisions were introduced. D2MAC transmission technology, RDS and televisions with screens of 84 cm and 95 cm soon followed.

From 1991 to 2005

The age of multimedia

At IFA, DCC, interactive CDs, photo CDs and the mini disc were showcased. Laser TVs, digital televisions, digital cameras and camcorders, DVD players and DAB receivers led the way to our digital future. Also in focus, were the first flat-screen televisions, mobile phones with internet access and MP3 players. Home networking technology arrived.

From 2006 to 2013

Leap into a new era

From 2006 onwards, IFA was held annually, keeping pace with innovations in the consumer electronics industry.

LCD and plasma televisions were conquering the market and enabling larger screens, HDTV and 3D TV. Blu-ray discs could store high-resolution movies and the consumer electronics industry went mobile.

In 2008, IFA was expanded to include the domestic appliances segment – “Home Appliances@IFA” was born. It was the beginning of a success story: Today, IFA is also the world’s largest trade fair for electrical household appliances.

In 2009, the TWF (technology and research forum), the showcase for future technology, was further developed into “IFA TecWatch”. IFA was held for the 50th time in 2010. The “IFA iZone“ became the newest exhibition area.

From 2014 to 2022

Continuous expansion

In 2014, IFA celebrated its 90th birthday. The “IFA+ Summit“ convention was run for the first time. With “CityCube”, around 6,000 square meters of new exhibition space were also available.

In 2015, the new ”Fitness & Activity” product exhibition area was added.

From 2016 onwards, the exhibition grounds have been exclusively reserved for brand manufacturers. Suppliers, component manufacturers and OEMs/ODMs are now able to meet with their customers and partners at ”IFA Global Markets“ at STATION Berlin. The “Smart Home” area was created in Hall 6.2.

”IFA NEXT” was launched in 2017 as a platform for innovation. “IFA NEXT” is the new innovation hub at IFA for startups, research organizations and companies. It offers know-how for the future of technology, business and lifestyle. The “IFA keynotes“, the “IFA+ Summit“ and the ”IFA Hosted Conferences” were combined into “IFA NEXT”.

In 2018, the domestic appliance industry celebrated its tenth anniversary at IFA – it has now been a long-term fixture at IFA. The exhibition area dedicated to “IFA NEXT” almost doubled, and the “Shift AUTOMOTIVE” event encouraged cross-industry collaboration: “Shift AUTOMOTIVE” looks at the future of connected mobility. “IFA Global Markets” is now Europe’s largest sourcing platform and, at 20,000 square meters, it is overbooked for the first time.

In 2019, IFA NEXT hosted its first innovation partner country: Japan, a high-tech nation, showcased its research, technology and products. The Japan Pavilion exhibited highly innovative ideas as well as product examples showing how people and technology may interact in the future.

In 2022, IFA celebrated an impressive comeback: exhibitors, retailers and trade fair visitors returned in large numbers to the world’s most important trade fair for consumer and home electronics. After a three-year break, IFA in Berlin has made a strong comeback as the world’s top event for the consumer and home electronics industry.
Despite pandemic restrictions still in place, which continued to affect parts of Asia, exhibitors occupied more than 80 percent of the exhibition space on the Messe Berlin grounds. Over the five days of the fair, more than 161,000 people came to IFA in Berlin.