The former boss of the Berlin trade fair company Christian Göke withdrew on Wednesday from the consortium that organizes the IFA. This brings peace to a dispute about the direction of the International Consumer Electronics Fair, which had occupied the Berlin politicians.
The argument is about money. The Berlin trade fair company pays 1.2 million euros in fees for the IFA to the organizing consortium GFU Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH (society for the promotion of consumer electronics). The consortium includes important representatives of the electronics industry such as Liebherr, Miele, Philips, Samsung and Sony.
Dispute over license payments
Because the trade fair was canceled due to the pandemic, Göke’s successor Martin Ecknig initially did not want to pay the fees at all and then only wanted to pay a significantly lower amount than agreed. He fell out with GFU supervisory board member Volker Klodwig about this.
As a result, the trade fair company was upset that Göke had sided with the organizing consortium GFU and the British event organizer Clarion, which is affiliated with it. The GFU holds the rights to the IFA. Your contract with Messe Berlin expires in 2024. From 2025 she wants to organize the IFA with Clarion. GFU and Clarion have founded a joint company for this purpose.
Uncertain future of the IFA
At the end of 2020, Göke resigned as head of Messe Berlin and was subsequently involved with Clarion. Göke’s withdrawal should now pave the way for the future of the IFA in Berlin. “I would like to finally end the personal debate,” Göke told the Tagesspiegel. It was not about “pecuniary interests” for him.
In the course of the dispute, doubts about Ecknig’s crisis management were raised. Göke’s withdrawal from Clarion could calm things down a bit. Meanwhile, the future of the IFA in Berlin is at stake. In the meantime, Munich and Frankfurt were already being discussed as alternatives.
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