IBC Unveils Lineup for 2024 Show, Promises Tweaks to Familiar Formula

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Trade show IBC is back on track to almost pre-COVID levels, according to organisers, in an update given three months before the show on September 13-16 opens in its usual Amsterdam home. 

There are some tweaks to the familiar formula but perhaps not enough to galvanise anyone’s attention outside of the broadcast industry. That is IBC’s goal, though, with CEO Mike Crimp saying that the fastest growing area of the show were audiences working outside of traditional broadcasting.

“IBC is such a broad church and covers so much more than core broadcasting,” he said in a briefing to press. “IBC originated as International Broadcasting Convention but it’s been clear to us for some time that content is being consumed and delivered in a number of ways. Going back 15 years we decided to be agnostic about that. The idea of content everywhere was to pull in people who maybe didn't see their home immediately as broadcast, but certainly had an offering for the media and entertainment business  This is actually still the biggest growing area of the show.”

Content Everywhere Returns

To cater to this audience, IBC is bringing back a hall dedicated to Content Everywhere. This is the Pavilion erected outside of the RAI which last housed exhibitors in 2019. In here, and in line with other exhibitions, there’s a specific AI Zone grouping together AI solutions providers and a demo/presentation theatre. This is being curated by the EBU and sponsored by Wasabi.

“AI is one of the biggest expanding areas of the industry, and I feel we will see it grow up a bit at IBC with real world examples moving on from the machine learning seen in the past,” Crimp said. Elsewhere at the show there will be a conference panel devoted to tackling fake news and fact checking and in the IBC Accelerator section, a kickstarter for tech ideas, there’s a proposal by Paramount Global and the BBC titled "Design Your Weapons in the Fight Against Disinformation."

AV/Broadcast Convergence

The convergence of AV with broadcast was noted, and for the first time IBC seems to have gone out of its way to court giant corporate AV users. It has invited executives from the likes of AstraZeneca, UPS, Barclays Bank, Bank of England, Deliveroo, and Schroeders to a “speed pitch event” with IBC exhibitors.

“Exhibitors have the opportunity to promote their products and events directly to those major AV purchasers,” Crimp explained. “What's different about them is they're not the typical broadcast or media entertainment companies you'd see at IBC. We’re seeing more buyers coming into IBC who are looking at, what we would consider standard broadcast technologies being used in innovative ways across the corporate sector.”

He said the development reflects the growing professional audio visual presence in M&E. So-called AV Broadcast is being used by enterprise-level customers to produce and stream at broadcast quality for live and virtual and corporate events. Other content plus tech trends dominating the industry are Free Ad Supporting TV (FAST) channels and summer of live sports so it’s not a surprise that both of these also feature prominently.

For instance, there will be a look back the Olympics and the technology used to deliver it, provided we are not all fed up with Olympic content by then.

eSports (which will be an official Olympic event in LA 2028) makes another appearance in the form of a Hall 8 showcase in partnership with specialists Unlocked.

Steven Connolly, IBC’s head of sales and show director, claimed “exceptional demand” for show space and reported that 45,000 sq ft had already been taken – surpassing the total for the whole 2023 show. That’s from 1,100 exhibitors across 14 halls, which is one more than 2023. There are 150 new exhibitors signed so far including 5G Broadcast Collective, CDN Alliance, Datacamp, Eosos, Frequency Networks, Medianet Berlin, Strada, SwXch IO, and Vubiquity. Others including Insta360, Robe, The Weather Company, Vecima, and Yamaha return to the RAI for the first time since before the pandemic.

All other regular exhibitors are present including Avid, AWS, Comcast, Google, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Huawei. Imagine Communications, LG, Lawo, Mediakind, Microsoft, Nagra, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Tata Communications, Telestream, and ZTE.

Conference speakers include Chem Assayag, Senior VP Home Services Innovation, Orange; Kerry Ball, Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer, BritBox International; Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder of AI platform Builder.ai, Huma Lodhi, Principal Machine Learning Engineer, Sky UK, and Andy Hood, VP Emerging Technologies at WPP with more to be announced.

If you have to pay for the conference than it will cost over EUR1000 (USD1074) if you pay now. Since IBC2023 attracted 43,065, no bookie will take odds on this year surpassing that, though they might take your bet of 50,000 visitors. By contrast, the US-based equivalent NAB Show counted 61,000 people through its doors in April and the AV-centric ISE show in February this year scored 73,891 visitors and had a keynote from a Star Wars director.

Connolly noted, "There is already a very positive buzz around the exhibition this year — visitors to IBC2024 will see exciting demos and get the chance to meet an increasingly wide array of innovative brands from across the media technology landscape. With the introduction of the AV User Group event, IBC continues to broaden its scope and provide more opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors."

Streaming Media Europe is a Media Partner for IBC 2024.  

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