Broadcasters Head to Amsterdam for IBC

Organizers hopeful that attendees recognize the continued value of trade shows during hard times.
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IBC organizers expect more than 1,000 exhibitors this year
As broadcasters worldwide gather in Amsterdam later this week for the industry’s second largest trade show, organizers are realistic, yet optimistic about attendance, particularly during the economic downturn.

It was only a year ago, during last year’s IBC when the economic crisis hit a nadir—at least in the United States—when Lehmen Brothers went belly up and the stock market plunged, bringing the realities of the recession to the forefront. Since then, a number of broadcast groups have declared bankruptcy while others teeter on the edge. Still more struggle to stay in business despite slashing jobs and cutting back programming. Nevertheless, the IBC remains hopeful that attendees recognize the continued value of trade shows during hard times.

“After the financial challenges of the last year, now is definitely the time to invest in the knowledge that will help you run your businesses better in the future,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s chief operating officer. “IBC is still the best place to make that investment in knowledge and, with advance visitor registrations looking good, I believe that we will see a strong attendance from those organizations that are ready to break out of the recession and move forward.”

Although the organization has stressed the international flavor of IBC, the show remains Euro-centric, drawing more than 75 percent of attendees from the continent. North American attendees comprise less than 10 percent of overall attendance, which has steadily risen over the years to just under 50,000 in 2008. The show hosted more than 1,400 exhibitors last year at the RAI; this year, it has kept predictions more modest, to “more than 1,000,” including more than 100 new companies.

Among the highlights expected at the show: 3D, broadband, IPTV and mobile DTV. The new conference structure will tackle three key issues: advances in technology, creative innovation and the business of broadcasting. Keynote addresses will come from some of the world’s leading authorities including Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy Group, Gary Morse of 20th Century Fox, Arnaud Simon of Eurosport and Marty Pompadur, formerly of News Corp, who has recently founded a new consultancy.

Innovations this year include the Production Village (Hall 9), which combines opportunities to compare cameras, free technical and production training, demonstrations and a networking bar. The IBC Big Screen once more presents the state-of-the-art in digital cinema and stereoscopic 3D presentation, including the chance to enjoy a couple of movies such as Monsters vs Aliens in 3D (courtesy of Dreamworks animation).

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