Dirk Koslowski, IFA Director and CE China Global Brand Manager, looks back at the 2019 edition of CE China. The show had visibly changed a lot this year. We asked him what he saw as being the biggest changes.
It’s the transformation, coming from a traditional consumer electronics background going now into mobility topics. In other words, embedding or integrating automotive topics with mobility on the go solutions, like smartphones and so on. That’s one of the reasons why Huawei has been exhibiting at this year’s show.
The exhibition space has improved this year and you are happy with this….
Indeed. It has a little to do with the long history of trade shows here in Guangzhou. It’s one of the most traditional trade show cities, and we are quite optimistic that we have really found a spot where all our exhibiting partners and of course the organisers here from the Chinese side know exactly what we are looking for as “foreigners”. We want to present a quality show, and they are eager to help us.
You have said in the past that the big difference between this show and other events is the focus on educating and informing the retail channel. Just how important is that?
I am not qualified to talk about other trade shows, but I can talk about what we have in store. Our major focus is and stays the retail. That’s one of the major reasons we invented the IFA Retail University, because we all know that quality distribution needs much more than just a price competition. We want to educate retailers, especially from brick and mortar stores, about the strengths of specific new products. We want to inform them how to make customers happy in terms of promoting products in a very different way. It’s not just the price, it’s the features that come along with the quality aspect.
Tell us a little more about the IFA Retail University.
We introduced the IFA Retail University last year at CE China 2018 in Shenzhen and its success and the positive feedback encouraged us to bring this format to Guangzhou this year. As you surely know, CE China is part of the global IFA network, and just as IFA, CE China’s mission is to provide the most efficient networking platform for the industry. This also means that IFA and CE China are focusing on the retail landscape in the best possible and effective way.
At our events in Berlin, New York and Guangzhou, we bring together our partners from the industry with their retail counterparts and media from local and international markets. IFA Retail University is a cornerstone in this effort. This ground breaking and highly efficient information source and communication tool creates great value for both international brands and Asian retail representatives. The purpose of IFA Retail University is to deliver deep insights… insights that help retailers increase their future business success.
How did it work?
In concise 20-minute power-briefings retailers learn about products and market insights. Here, representatives from brands like Sennheiser, Haier and others, gave first-hand information and showed retailers which story sells their products best to consumers.
Retail buyers are coming from further afield for this show. This has been a major point of evolution this time.
Indeed, you are touching a very significant point. Of course, we have a vision of how to develop the show. We see this kind of show as a truly pan-Asian show in the future. It means other market players from different countries are coming to this show to see what is good for the consumers in their domestic markets. For example, we have the presence this year of buyers from Korea, Taiwan, India and Japan. That’s one of the strengths of this show. It’s not just focusing on the Chinese consumer, but it reflects the consumer behaviour and megatrends in Pan Asian megacities. It is important for the participants here to leverage and promote their business seasons in Asia which are quite different from Europe. As you know, the double-11 event – “Singles Day” in China is a huge shopping spree here. Chinese New Year is also a very important sales event.
Photo: Dirk Koslowski, IFA Director and CE China Global Brand Manager