IBC Show Celebrates 50th Anniversary

AMSTERDAM—Broadcast and media professionals from around the world will descend on the RAI Convention Center, Sept. 15–19 for the annual IBC Show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Nearly 56,000 visitors attended the 2016 IBC Show at the RAI.

Nearly 56,000 attendees took in the technology exhibition and dozens of conferences in 2016, but along with the show, IBC has also expanded its services with the launch of IBC365, an online editorial platform and weekly e-bulletin that covers the latest developments in television technology, earlier this year.

TV Technology recently spoke with Michael Crimp, president of IBC to discuss how changes in the industry are impacting the annual gathering.

TV Technology:What do you think are the biggest changes that have occurred in the industry since IBC 2016?
Michael Crimp: Broadcasters have traditionally been the trusted brand for news: Is the era of social media and universal internet access changing that? It is a critical topic to debate at IBC, because the industry’s response to it is central to its future, both commercially and technically.

More broadly, the industry continues to widen beyond traditional media, entertainment and technology into adjacent markets; IP interoperability is far more widely accepted than it was this time last year; and nascent technologies like VR and AR are increasingly being seen as far more than mere gaming gadgets. IBC will be exploring all these areas and more.

Michael Crimp

TVT:Are there any new areas in the media industry that IBC is focusing on for the 2017 show? And if so, why?
Crimp: There are many new markets melding with the traditional broadcast sector, including cloud, AR/VR, mobile, IoT, social networks, artificial intelligence and telecoms, and there is much we can all learn about different ways to produce, manage, monetize and aggregate content. We are pleased to welcome a number of high-profile speakers from these sectors, as well as from broadcast networks, to discuss the changing media landscape.

TVT:How successful have your efforts been at increasing IBC’s presence beyond the annual show?
Crimp: Last year we carried out extensive independent research to pinpoint areas where IBC could offer greater value to IBC exhibitors and visitors. A key feature of the research results was a desire for more IBC-generated industry intelligence outside of show time. This led to the launch of IBC365, an online portal with a treasure trove of content including hundreds of IBC videos, technology papers, and analysis of industry trends, as well as commissioned content specifically aimed at adjacent markets in order to engage them more fully with IBC.

TVT:Who are some of your keynoters this year and what will they be focusing on?
Crimp: The opening keynote will explore how the rise of fan and friend power in the media ecosystem is driving new approaches to broadcasting, as well as paving the way for new partnerships and funding models. Speakers include Dan Danker, product director at Facebook and Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president & CEO at Modern Times Group.

Brian Sullivan, president & COO, Digital Consumer Group, Fox Networks Group at 21st Century Fox, will take to the stage to deliver insight into the American market and developments of Fox Network’s leading TV Everywhere services. Balan Nair, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Liberty Global will join other key industry leaders for the “CTO Roadmap” keynote. With many CTOs certainly facing the same challenges as most executives in the broadcast and media industry, this panel will explore what they see as the biggest challenges and most importantly, how they intend to address them.

Delivering the Technology Forward Keynote, ‘What’s Happening in VR, AR and Mixed Reality’ is Rikard Steiber, president, Viveport and SVP Virtual Reality, HTC. The session will look at the emerging swathe of consumer devices and services, as well as showcasing successful VR experiences across platforms.

TVT:What new features/pavilions/attractions can we expect this year? Any new features for the mobile app?
Crimp: The C-Tech Forum offers two days of specialist presentations and debates, on the same invitation-only, behind-closed-doors basis as the established Leaders’ Summit. The first day will focus on the critical topic of cyber-security, while the second day will look at the potential for 5G.

The IBC Startup Forum also launches this year. Our industry is based on innovation, on people with bright ideas who can create new techniques and the technologies to support them. Working in association with Media Honeypot, we are aiming to bring together startup and scale-up businesses, investors and media houses, to take the best new ideas from the spark of invention to full fruition.

This year’s IP Showcase will show how far we have come in just a year. IP is no longer ‘the future’—real-time IP for production, playout and contribution is a practical, flexible, efficient reality that is rapidly taking hold in mainstream broadcast operations. The IP Showcase will offer demonstrations, real-world scenarios and education sessions, showing the full potential of IP workflows.

The free mobile app now features a fully interactive map, including 3D views to find exhibitors, save their locations, and plot your route around the RAI. It also has a neat tool to help you request and schedule meetings, with inbuilt social media to enable informal online chat. There is also a searchable conference schedule, and you can even check which of the many catering locations in the RAI have queues, ensuring you always make the best use of your time.

TVT:How has your partnership with other industry associations evolved over the years and affected how you develop the conference section of the show?
Crimp: IBC is organized by the industry for the industry, and at the top of our organisation is the Partnership Board which contains representatives of the six leading professional and trade bodies in the industry: IABM, IEE, IET, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE.

My day job revolves around the invaluable feedback we receive from our partner bodies and from the committees, which draw upon valuable industry knowledge. We take all that input and develop a strategy for the continuing development of IBC as an agile platform for industry education, ready to respond to new trends and technologies as they arise.

TVT:Are there any new changes at the RAI itself? I heard a rumor that “The Beach” is no longer, is this true?
Crimp: A large new hotel is under construction between Hall 12 and the station, scheduled to be open in time for IBC 2019, and the North-South metro line is due to open in July 2018. As for “The Beach,” anyone visiting the RAI earlier this year might have been dismayed to see the popular waterfront bar area looking like a building site…but fear not, The Beach has now reopened with a completely new look, with a restaurant as well as various bar areas and rooms for private events.

For more information, visit https://show.ibc.org/.