IFA Berlin 2023: Europe’s biggest electronics show

31 July 2023

IFA Berlin: a landmark trade fair for technology, industry and innovation for almost 100 years


The IFA Berlin (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) has been a trade fair for electronics and industrial innovations for almost 100 years. Founded in 1924, each year the IFA presents a comprehensive overview of the global market for electronics, industry and media. With 150,000 trade visitors from over 130 countries, the IFA is the must-attend event for digital companies, industry professionals, buyers, experts, suppliers and retailers. 


The 2023 edition will take place at the Messe Berlin (Exhibition Centre) from 1 to 5 September, one year before the show’s centenary, which will be held in 2024! Before we celebrate the 100th edition next year, here’s a short retrospective of the major historical events at IFA Berlin, from 1924 to the present day: 


  • 1924: the very first edition of the IFA (“Große Deutsche Funkausstellung”), marked by the beginnings of radio: detection devices and tube radio receivers, super high receivers, gramophones, the first sound recording processes, and the first European car radio!


  • 1928: this year, the IFA broadcasts one of the first television programmes during the event, an incredible technical innovation at the time of the first television sets.


  • 1967: German Chancellor Willy Brandt kicks off color television at the IFA! For the first time, German television was in color, thanks to Phase Alternating Line (PAL) technology. 


  • 1971: the show was renamed “Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA)”, or “International Consumer Electronics Show”. From this year onwards, the show became an international event and a world reference for the presentation of major innovations to the general public and professionals in the electronics sector. The first video recorders, as well as recording cameras, CDs and the first digital televisions were presented. It wasn’t until 1985 that high-definition television (HDTV) was presented at the show, along with the first satellite television receivers. 


  • 1990s: in addition to radio and television, the IFA took a more multimedia-oriented turn. With the presentation of digital cameras and camcorders, DVD players, interactive CDs and Mini Discs, IFA was at the cutting edge of innovation in the digital world. A little later, the first flat-screen TVs, MP3 players and mobile phones with Internet access – the forerunners of the first smartphones – were launched and presented at IFA. In 1997, Japanese company Nintendo became the first video game manufacturer to present its new game console at the show: the N64. 


  • 2006: from the early 2000s onwards, the digital and consumer electronics industry developed strongly, so that each year the IFA had to adapt to the fast-paced presentation of technological and technical innovations: LCD and plasma televisions, Blue Ray discs, etc.
  • From 2014 onwards, the IFA has continued to develop its show and its business lines, with congresses, conferences and exhibition areas enabling new companies to present their products and services. In 2016, the show inaugurated the “IFA Global Markets” platform, a European and international sourcing platform. In 2017, the “IFA Next” cluster, dedicated to start-ups, research laboratories and innovative companies committed to the future of technology, saw the light of day for the first time. 


Audio, communication, digital technologies, health, IT, robotics, sustainability… What themes will be presented at IFA 2023?


The IFA show brings together a number of hubs and exhibition areas for industrial and digital companies wishing to showcase their innovations in the consumer electronics industry. One of these is IFA Next: a space dedicated to the start-up ecosystem, the 2023 edition promises an exciting showcase of the most promising entrepreneurs, investors and research and innovation laboratories in the international environment. 


IFA Global Markets is also an important asset of the IFA show for companies in the consumer and home electronics industry, as it is the largest business-to-business sourcing platform. Bringing together more than 800 professional exhibitors (manufacturers, suppliers, buyers, etc.) from over 20 countries and territories, this B2B space offers a unique experience for professionals to forge partnerships, expand their network and conquer new markets. 


In addition to these two major areas, several exhibition zones will be dedicated to targeted themes, with a number of specialist companies: 

  • Audio
  • Communication and connectivity
  • Computing and gaming
  • Digital health and fitness
  • Home and leisure
  • Home appliances
  • Image and video (IFA Imaging)
  • Mobility 
  • Sustainable development 
  • Robotics


One of the new features at the IFA in 2023 will be the Sustainable Development Village: a space dedicated to the fight against electronic waste and the reparability of products, where digital companies committed to recycling or the circular economy will be able to showcase their practices. 


Why go to IFA Berlin for a start-up or digital company?


For a start-up, an industrial company or a digital business, attending IFA Berlin 2023 offers a number of advantages. A show at the heart of new economic and societal trends, the IFA attracts a large number of trade visitors, investors, potential partners, customers and innovative companies every year. More than 500 start-ups will be present in the IFA Next cluster in 2023, proving the growing appeal of this show dedicated to industrial and electronic innovation. 


If you want to present a new product on a global scale, make contact with retailers or distributors, meet investors, trigger new partnership opportunities, or discover the most promising start-ups in your market, the IFA is the event not to be missed. The show is also an opportunity for your company to showcase your innovations, as well as attending presentations of major international innovations and observing consumers’ immediate reactions. Just like some of the major technological innovations highlighted at previous editions, the IFA 2023 will surprise its visitors with exhibitors, workshops and conferences that are as close as possible to the future of the electronics industry, while taking account of social, technological and economic developments in the sector. 


Basque Invest helps companies in the digital and industrial sectors to set up in France, particularly in the Basque Country. For us, understanding the environments, ecosystems and trends in these markets is essential if we are to provide the best possible support to industrial companies setting up in our region. That’s why we regularly attend the IFA Berlin trade fair, to keep abreast of major international innovations and meet the major players in the electronics industry.