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CTIA teams with IFA as consumer electronics show partner

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LAS VEGAS--CTIA announced it will partner with IFA, the giant consumer electronics show in Berlin held every September, as its official show partner going forward for global consumer electronics. 

Rob Mesirow, CTIA's vice president of operations and show director, said during IFA's press conference here at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show that the partnership will start in in May with the CTIA's 2013 spring show, and will continue in the future. He did not provide details for how the partnership will play out, but said it will take advantage of "CTIA's leadership in mobile and IFA's leadership in consumer electronics."

The announcement comes less than a week after CTIA announced its new "super" wireless industry event that will debut Sept. 9-11, 2014, which will combine its two annual shows into one. Mesirow said that although CTIA's shows and IFA will take place on different continents they will be "technologically connected."

Christian Göke, the COO of Messe Berlin, which hosts the IFA show, welcomed the partnership. "You can't be successful since 1924 if you do not learn one important lesson," he said, referring to how long the IFA show has been in existence. "And that lesson is that [you depend] on good cooperation and mutually beneficial cooperation and partnerships." In 2012 IFA took up 1.5 million square feet of exhibitor space and had 240,000 attendees, including 138,000 trade attendees.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Mesirow said that CTIA has been talking with IFA "for years" about the partnership, which he called a natural fit. He said that IFA is the world leader in trade shows for consumer electronics and appliances, and that as more devices connect to wireless networks, bringing the two shows closer together makes sense. "Trade shows need to evolve," he said.

CTIA is focused on several areas for its "super" show: the connected home; content, media and advertising; global consumer electronics; M2M, money; and next-generation networks. Mesirow said CTIA will look to strike partnerships in each of those areas similar to the one with IFA. 

Mesirow said that as the partnership moves forward, there will be live video feeds of keynote presentations and other events at both shows available to attendees at the other show. He said this will be done in an "interactive, integrated way." He added that CTIA and IFA are actively investigating technologies to "create a seamless, trans-Atlantic event," though he declined to go into details.

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