Getting the best out of IBC is a challenge

It may be holiday time, but IBC is fast approaching. For many, this is a very busy few weeks. Having once worked for vendors, I know all the preparation that goes into the show. It opens 9 September whether your booth is ready or not, so it's late nights for the booth crew.

The press doesn't get off lightly either. We are fully booked with press conferences from Thursday, getting the skinny on all the product releases, as well as sales success stories. It can prove to be information overload, as we pick out the stories we think will interest you, the reader.

This year, we are adding editorial video coverage on the Broadcast Engineering Video Network, much as we did at NAB earlier in the year. It is good to be covering the video industry through the medium of video, to add to our Web and print publishing. I'm learning about multiformat content creation for real!

This year could prove to be a big one for information gathering at IBC. Buyers are looking for products in new areas to support OTT delivery of content to connected TVs, tablets and smart phones.

The cozy days of going to see your favored hardware vendors to see their new products have become more complex. Who are the new vendors in the connected world of delivery to multiple devices?

With well over 1000 exhibitors, finding those new players requires some serious planning. How do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Many of the new companies will not succeed. How do you identify the winners to source the software apps and infrastructure that will deliver new services to your viewers?

Obviously, I would say the trade press can help, but just as broadcasters are competing with upstarts in the content delivery business, we also compete with all manner of personal blogs and websites. Where do you source trusted information? Do you believe the sales guy or the opinionated blogger?

Peer recommendation has always been a trusted source of information. If you find a product that looks interesting, the first thing is to visit a reference site to see it in action. However, this can be difficult, as many broadcasters do not want their competitors to see how they are using new products in their workflow; commercial confidentiality now reigns. This has gotten to be more so as products become smarter and more software-based.

As we have all found, searching the Internet for good information can be challenging. It is a minefield of illiterate blogs and forums with uninformed answers. At Broadcast Engineering, we go to a lot of trouble to endeavor to inform our readers. I would like to hear if you think we are helping to open up a path through the changing landscape of media delivery. Please e-mail me with your thoughts.

These are testing times. Viewers are demanding more from broadcasters, but revenues from the viewers via subscriptions or advertising are not keeping pace with the increasing demands for TV everywhere.

It's all there at IBC, but this year, more than ever, it takes careful planning and research before the show to make sure that your time is not wasted. It would be good to attend IBC three times: once to attend the conference papers, once to see existing suppliers and once just to wander around looking for the innovative — that company with a 3m × 3m shell scheme that becomes tomorrow's giant. Unfortunately, we can't attend three times, so it is all a compromise — too much to pack into six days!

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