IFA 2020 will be a different kind of event.


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Europe’s largest annual electronics show, IFA, will go ahead as a physical event in Berlin this September, in spite of the coronavirus outbreak.

During a livestream on Tuesday, IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker said that the Berlin authorities have limited the number of participants allowed at events to 5,000, but the event will allow a maximum of just 1,000 attendees to each section of the event per day and will not be open to the public. The event, which is usually spread over the course of a week, will be shortened to just three days.

“We have only one priority — health and safety must come first,” said Heithecker. But, he added, brands and manufacturers need a global stage to launch new products ahead of Black Friday and the holiday season for the good of the global economy.

Heithecker announced Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon as the first of this year’s keynote speakers. Press conferences will be held at a central location rather than spread around different company booths, and only 800 journalists from around the world will be allowed to attend. In addition to the press conferences, three parallel events will allow the trade show to go ahead. There will be virtual opportunities to take part in the event for those not able to attend.

Trade shows and tech and industry events scheduled to take place in 2020 have largely been canceled or turned into virtual events this year, starting with MWC in Barcelona in February, followed by E3 and company developer conferences such as Facebook’s F8 and Apple’s WWDC.

“After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase its innovation, so that it can recover and rebound,” said Heithecker. “The recovery of our industry starts here.”

See also: Flights are dirt-cheap. Should you book travel amid coronavirus?


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