IFA 2008 – A quick look inside

I spent last friday and saturday at IFA in Berlin and had some time to walk around the floors. It’s one of if not the biggest consumer electronics show worldwide, right up there with CES in Las Vegas. On saturday morning, right before the show opened to the public, there were hundreds of people coming from every side of the place in front of the south entry. Although I didn’t have that much time for wandering around, there were some exhibitors who really made an impression. (By the way: for anyone looking for the giant letters, they can be found at the south entry.)

SonyThe first one who comes to mind was the Sony booth with all the mirrors, the plushy floor and a funky light show. They basically created a hall inside a hall. In the core was the light show and enough place to hang out and watch the actors do their things, play around with the consoles or look at some home entertainment. Even on friday there were many people just hanging out and enjoying their time. Around this area they had their regular show floor to present TVs, their SLRs and various other things. Even though Sony can mess up things easily, creating a booth isn’t one of them. The booths I’ve seen at Games Convention and now at IFA are always mind blowing.

16 Won't DoThe second big company was right next to the north entry: Samsung. They had so many TVs lined up that even standing at the entry with a 16mm lens (EF-S 10-22) there was no way to capture all of them at once. It’s all very shiny, simple and clean. This booth was expensive. Definitely a place worth to visit!

Unfortunately I already had to leave on saturday, so I couldn’t make it to Canon’s skate show. I would have loved to take some shots there. It’s always inspiring to see these guys and girls do their thing, it makes for really interesting angles. The fast action also shows you the limits of your gear quite easily.

Willkommen, WelcomeThe only confusing thing about the show are the stacked halls. For example you have eight different “halls” which are all hall 7: There are 7.1a, 7.1b, 7.1c, 7.2a, 7.2b, 7.2c, 7.3 Berlin and 7.3 Europa. Another thing this exhibition proved again: Going to a show to find out about new things isn’t really worth it, it might work on a work day. Just get online to look at the details first, then make a list of things you want to have hands-on time with. For a photographer though, it’s a great place to be, just like any other big trade show. Next year I’ll bring more time.

Overall the experience in Berlin was once again great. I love the city and the people there. I can’t describe how it feels driving to the airport and then seeing this city from above.

The next thing on my list is Photokina in Cologne, which is almost right next-door, across the rhine.