Following the wider themes and issues at the forefront of today’s tech industry is vital for B2B marketers, says Saskia Stolper, director of our German office. And top trade shows like IFA Berlin are a great way of keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging trends and innovative breakthroughs – particularly as the gap between B2B and B2C marketing narrows.
IFA Berlin, the world’s leading consumer electronics and home appliance trade show, is set to open this year on 31 August. Attended by a host of tech giants and cutting-edge innovators from around the globe, this annual show acts as the launch pad for revolutionary tech breakthroughs. Here, exhibitors cover the very latest in lifestyle, audio, IT, household, TV and smart homes, with world-renowned keynote speakers addressing some of today’s most talked-about issues such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and voice.
Although technically a consumer show, IFA Berlin is certainly not just a platform for the most-recognised names in tech – B2B tech companies and marketers also have a clear place at the table. IFA 2018 will introduce some of the hottest consumer electronics around, as well as showcasing the innovative technology behind the devices. With the traditional hard lines between B2B and B2C starting to blur as tech shapes society – and vice-versa – B2B marketers need to be fully conversant with the themes and trends being discussed and showcased here.
One of the oldest trade shows in Europe, IFA Berlin is continuing to boom despite some other trade shows struggling in recent years. IFA 2017 was bigger and better than ever, with a massive 159,000 square meters of show floor space sold out to 1,805 exhibitors.
So, what’s in it for B2B marketers?
IFA 2018 looks likely to follow the success of the previous year.. At IFA Berlin, trends are set and products are launched and communicated to the mass audience. And if you’re not actually attending the show, it’s still essential that you know what’s happening.
These days, B2B and B2C are tightly linked, with recent innovations such as IoT, payment systems, smart kitchens and security systems all very much on consumers’ minds. Although consumers don’t see the tech behind these products, they certainly see and are affected by the themes. Developments around issues like data security, IoT, voice recognition offer great opportunities for B2B marketers and PRs to get involved in the discussion.
More reasons to get involved
Hear a host of dynamic, forward-thinking keynote speakers, including:
- Jo Seong-Jin and I.P. Park, respectively CEO and CTO of LG Electronics will deliver a joint opening keynote speech to outline their vision for LG’s ThinQ strategy for artificial intelligence. They’ll show how this technology comes to life in everyday products like refrigerators, TVs and washing machines.
- Daniel Rausch, Amazon VP, who will discuss how voice is expanding and improving everyday experiences and how we interact with technology.
- Wendell Wallach, consultant, ethicist and scholar at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, who will deal with the question ‘how we can prevent technology from getting out of control’. Surrounded by tech companies, that alone will be interesting!
It’s worth checking out the IFA keynote schedule for more information.
- See cutting-edge B2B exhibitors like wireless technology company, Qualcomm and voice recognition and audio specialist, XMOS [lorry client] who will be on the Fraunhofer booth showcasing their tech that sits behind many consumer products. B2B marketers could certainly learn a lot by seeing how B2B brands position themselves to consumers. Often B2B brands struggle to get their positioning across without relying on tired phrases, jargon or acronyms – shows like IFA 2018 present an interesting tone of voice challenge.
- Network and connect with future partners. There’s a huge sales cycle here and it’s a great opportunity to meet brands and get deals done. Most of the big consumer brands fly their sales, marketing and management teams in for these shows. What better opportunity to look to build a partnership?
- Raise your brand profile with end-consumers. Take the huge success of Intel Inside® as an example – the company built credibility and created a real push for its products with end-consumers. Shows like IFA Berlin offer the opportunity for B2B brands to follow this lead – creating a consumer push so consumer companies will want to use their tech. Whether you go to the show or just get involved in the social conversation with @IFA_Berlin or #IFA18, it could take your B2B brand a long way.
- Experience awesome new tech. The show is a chance to see the inspiring tech that will make its way into B2B products, like voice, robotics, AI and VR developments. Last year Samsung launched three new wearables and Sony showed off it’s Google Assistant speaker. While the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, debuts before the show, this year Samsung will be announcing smart appliances from fridges to TVs and there will be a host of manufacturers including Sony, Toshiba Panasonic, LG and Phillips that are likely to launch new tech. In all these great ideas for B2C brands, there are plenty of learnings for B2B companies too.
Tech companies are truly shaping our world and our future. And, as the leading showcase for the global technology industry, IFA 2018 sits at the beating heart of tech breakthroughs; the place where pioneering, revolutionary tech is born into society. I think it’s more relevant to ask why wouldn’t B2B tech marketers care about it.
So, that’s my thoughts on the importance of IFA Berlin for B2B marketers. We’d love to hear yours. Are you going? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @redlorrycomms to let us know your thoughts.