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IBC Cancels Due to COVID-19
IBC CEO Michael Crimp cites "many unknowns" and concerns over exhibitor and attendee safety in decision to pull the plug on the event, scheduled for September 11-14 in Amsterdam

IBC, Europe's biggest broadcast and OTT event, will not go forward in Amsterdam in September as planned. "Right now, despite the best work of the IBC team and our Dutch colleagues, there are still many unknowns," said IBC CEO Michael Criimp in a statement. "Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC."

Crimp said that IBC has been focused on developing plans and procedures for holding a safe event, but that it was preferrable for all involved to make a final decision sooner rather than later, adding that "a return to (a new) normal is unlikely to be achieved by September.

"Right now, despite the best work of the IBC team and our Dutch colleagues, there are still many unknowns. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC," Crimp said.

Last year's event drew a record attendance of 56,390, and conference organizers said that even if the show had gone forward, it would have been impossible to maintain its usual format. "It is also evident that important aspects of a large-scale event such as IBC will be greatly altered by social distancing, travel restrictions, masks etc. so much so that the spirit of IBC will be compromised," Crimp said.

IBC and IABM had conducted surveys of attendees and exhibitors, and the feedback they received indicated that most supported canceling the event.

Crimp said the organization will continue to engage with the broadcast and OTT industry via its digital platform, IBC365, and said more details will be announced soon.