As IBC2011 draws to a close, all the signs are that it has been a remarkable year. Leaders from around the industry and around the world have given IBC their vote of confidence as the place where key topics are debated and the big business is completed. By 16:00 Tuesday 50,462 people had attended IBC, a new record and a rise of 4% over 2010.
“We continue to push the boundaries of IBC, bringing in thought leaders from new media, advertising and cutting edge technology,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s ceo. “But while it is exciting to welcome to IBC luminaries like Hiroshi Yoshioka, executive deputy president of Sony Coporation, Joanna Shields, vice president and managing director EMEA of Facebook and director James Cameron, the real value lies in the interaction between every one of the visitors who come here to investigate new technology and new working practices, to share knowledge, and to sign deals.
“Everyone knows that the industry is changing,” he continued. “Audiences are being pulled in different directions, by immersive experiences like 3D and by multi-platform content as consumers use tablets and smartphones even while they are watching television. Media companies need to be agile to remain commercially viable, so they need to make intelligent use of technology.
“IBC is the one place where creative and business discussions can take place, not just alongside a comprehensive exhibition but in a professional environment where the latest technology is demonstrated and put into context. It is all part of the IBC experience and it is an important part of what makes IBC unique.”
The thirteen halls and 1,300+ exhibitors made it the largest IBC ever in terms of display space. Exhibitors large and small reported excellent visitor numbers and good customer contacts. Deals worth $20 million or more were signed at the show.
The IBC Connected World was the exhibition home to the technology leaders in one of the most important trends at the show: the rise and rise of multi-screening and connected devices. Alongside the busy stands was a dedicated Demonstration Area showing the very latest innovations in broadcasting, internet and telecoms. The hottest topics from the IBC Connected World were also debated in the Exhibition Business Briefings, with presentations from companies such as Ericsson, IBM and Platinum Sponsor Cisco.
The IBC Production Village continued to provide a unique opportunity to compare cameras from 3Ality Digital, For-A, Nikon, Pure4C and Vision Research, with experts on hand to deliver their expertise through presentations at Inside Knowledge. The IBC Production Village was also once again home to the IBC TV News which is filmed, cut, edited and broadcast onsite.
A long-established IBC feature, the New Technology Campus was expanded into the Future Zone this year. This was host to the sensational NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Super Hi-Vision demonstration – 16 times the resolution of today’s HD – including some stunning footage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on 16 May. Alongside it was some of the most thought-provoking work from the world’s R&D labs, likely to become the hit products of future IBCs.
The IBC Certified Training Programme in Apple, Avid and Adobe desktop tools and produced by FMC with Silver Sponsor AJA, continues to rise in popularity, as those already in the industry seek to improve their skills and demonstrate their competencies and gain certification.
The IBC Big Screen once again showed the state of the art in digital cinema, including a showcase for high frame rate projection which many predict will be critical to the continuing development of 3D. As well as hosting conference debates and manufacturer presentations from Arri, Red, P+S Technik and Christie Digital, the IBC Big Screen also showed Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, in stereoscopic Dolby 3D and Dolby 7.1 ‘Courtesy of Paramount Pictures International’ as the Saturday night movie. The IBC Big Screen Monday Night Showcase included James Cameron showing extended excerpts from the 3D conversion of his movie Titanic, a world exclusive glimpse of the 3D version of Top Gun, hot off the desk clips of Cirque de Soleil and a showing of the natural history blockbuster Flying Monsters 3D.
The conference was again built around four streams: Added Value, Technological Advancements, Content Creation and Innovation and the Business of Broadcasting. The last, in particular, brought in many people to IBC for the first time, taking the debate into new areas around the commercial future of the industry and enriching the whole conference.
This year IBC attracted a wide range of leading figures to join the debate and share their experience and knowledge across a wide selection of topics, including Connected TV and Devices, Sports, Advertising, 3D and Next Generation Workflows. Keynote speakers included Joanna Shields of Facebook, William H Roedy of MTV Networks International, and Mainardo de Nardis of global advertising agency OMD Worldwide. All provided essential context to discussions and shared a wealth of knowledge with attendees.
In addition to the formal conference, IBC presented a number of free workshops and discussions to add value to everyone’s visit. As well as the ever-popular What Caught My Eye the programme also included sessions on apps and gizmos, audio loudness and making money from content archives. Both the European Digital Cinema Forum and SCTE presented open meetings in association with IBC.
A new venture in 2011 was the IBC Leaders’ Summit. CEOs from the leading media enterprises around Europe and the Middle East spent two days behind closed doors, discussing the business challenges for the future, and how media companies must evolve to meet them. It received a strong reception from the delegates, and the intention is that it will grow into a continuing “executive club”, providing the platform for informal discussions throughout the year as well as coming together at IBC.
There is widespread concern in the industry about the need to bring new talent into broadcasting. IBC plays its part, for instance through the Rising Stars Programme which gives students and early entrants into the industry an opportunity to visit the event, take part in special debates as well as tour the exhibition, and even present their own work in a special showcase.
The most successful work in our industry relies on skill and talent, but also on collaboration and communication. That is reflected in the IBC Awards, which celebrate the best of that collaboration and communication. This year the Innovation Awards went to CNBC, CNN and DNA in Finland, which also won the Judges’ Prize. Yukihiro Nishida, senior research engineer collected the IBC2011 Best Conference Paper Award on behalf of a group of colleagues at NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), and Exhibition Design Awards went to Phabrix, Tangent Wave and Christie.
For a remarkable 60 years in wildlife television Sir David Attenborough was awarded IBC’s highest accolade, the International Honour for Excellence. His started in black and white television on 16mm film, and throughout his career he pushed forward the use of cutting edge technology, from colour to low light cameras, and from HD to 3D. His most recent programme, Flying Monsters 3D, received the Special Award which went to its producers, Atlantic Productions.
“IBC is not just a trade show, or a talking shop conference – it is much more than that,” Michael Crimp concluded. “We add value to every visitor’s experience through special exhibition zones, additional workshops and business briefings, training, screenings and of course excellent opportunities to network and share knowledge with your peers.
“Whether you are a CEO in our Leaders’ Summit or a student about to join our fascinating industry, IBC is the one global forum that unites us.”