Mike Crimp, CEO of IBC speaks to BroadcastPro Middle East about what?s hot at this year?s event.
Mike Crimp, CEO of IBC speaks to BroadcastPro Middle East about whats hot at this years event.
What are your expected audience figures this year?
IBC attracts around 45,000 attendees every year and we expect the same this year notwithstanding events outside our control such as volcano eruptions! There certainly seems to be more optimism in the marketplace compared to this time last year from both suppliers and broadcasters alike.
The conference has an excellent offering of sessions and speakers this year and this has been reflected in the registrations to date, figures show that conference delegates are investing more time and money into the conference, as registrations for full time passes are already up.
Do you have new exhibitors at IBC this year?
Every year, IBC reflects the dynamic changes in the electronic media and entertainment industry and new exhibitors highlight how much this business really does move forward in a short space of time. IBC2010 will see around 250 first time exhibitors all showing new products and services.
In terms of the conference, we have an increasing number of speakers from outside the traditional broadcasting industry which represents the convergence that is taking place in our industry. For instance, new media companies such as Hulu, SeeSaw, YouTube and Facebook are all part of the speaker line-up in 2010.
Everyone says IBCs a great place for networking.
Talking to people colleagues, opposite numbers from other companies, suppliers, consultants has always been central to IBC. It is obviously true in the conference, but it is also true in the exhibition, where meeting suppliers face to face can make or break a negotiation, or lead to a breakthrough in understanding, by either party.
A couple of years ago, the Hannah Montana movie won the big IBC Innovation Awards, and Howard Lukk of Disney said in his acceptance speech that the real genesis of the project was at IBC the year before. He knew that the difference between success and failure of the movie was getting it onto screens quickly, so he spent a long time talking to Quantel about realtime, high throughput 3D.
I looked them in the eye and asked them if they could do it, he said.
This was a major 3D movie which broke all sorts of box office records, and it only made it into theatres because all the parties met and talked at IBC. You cannot look someone in the eye by e-mail.
Is the IBC conference still relevant to engineers?
Yes, the conference has changed dramatically, but so has the nature of the industry. There has been a massive shift from bespoke hardware and the need to study specifications to standardised platforms and a focus on applications and usability.
Back then, the chief engineer would make a choice on purely technical grounds, having visited every relevant stand at IBC. Today, producers, creative artists and CFOs have as much input into technology choices as engineers. Some argue that the most important specification is the return on investment.
But the inescapable fact is that producers could not make creative content, nor their commercial colleagues find new ways of making money from it, without the underlying technology. We are in a technical industry and without innovation in our core technologies, we cannot hope to succeed.
So there are three distinct streams running through the conference, and we always put technology as the first. It was where IBC started, and it is as important today as it has ever been.
The other two streams are around content creation and innovation, and the business of broadcasting. There are times, though, when all three streams come together for keynote sessions.
What are some of the must visit conferences and areas at IBC this year?
We have a first-rate collection of keynote sessions this year. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman, BBC Trust will examine the future of public service broadcasting; Gerhard Zeiler, CEO, RTL, will discuss how original content can be funded; Manolo Romero, managing director, Olympic Broadcasting Services steps up to the plate to reflect on the biggest international sporting event in the world; and finally, the technology keynote address from Kent Nowak, senior vice president, Texas Instruments will review the exponential progress of silicon development.
What do you think will be the hottest topics at the show? Sport? 3D? Media Convergence?
3D is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics this year. We even have a dedicated theme day in the Auditorium on Monday September 13, which focuses on Stereoscopic 3D. This is complemented by several other sessions in the conference and again reflected in the New Technology Campus (Hall 6), where many of the stands will be showing the latest in 3D display technology.
What are some of the new trends within broadcasting and how is IBC reflecting that?
Its difficult to talk about trends as the electronic media and entertainment industry is changing like never before. The way consumers now view and consume content is also rapidly changing. Interactivity, catch up TV and internet connected games consoles are just some of the things affecting viewing figures, advertising revenues and audience share. For IBC2010, the impact of this consumer consumption is reflected with the introduction of Connected World in Hall 9. This re-themed hall for connected devices will incorporate the ever-growing IPTV, Mobile and Digital Signage zones, address the convergence of the telco, mobile and IP businesses and their growing importance in the electronic media and entertainment industry.
What are some of the challenges you have this year and how have they been addressed?
IBC2010 will be some 5% bigger than IBC2009 which gives some indication not only of how much confidence there is in the industry right now but also how pivotal IBC itself is for mapping and leading the business opportunities arising from the development of the electronic media and entertainment industry. Being by the industry for the industry, IBC has always been a consultative organisation focused on delivering value for its stakeholders. This approach has enabled IBC to face and overcome numerous challenges over its 43-year history and remains core to its ethos today.
Do you have a big turnout from the Middle East at IBC?
As far as the Middle East market affects IBC, it provides more visitors than exhibitors.
Any highlights this year that are different from previous years?
Every year, many new products and services are demonstrated/displayed at IBC for the very first time. This year, we have an updated display by NHK of super high vision. Also new for this year, IBC, in conjunction with FMC, is offering visitors the opportunity of attending certified post-production training sessions with the latest software from Adobe, Avid, Autodesk and Apple.
The Exhibition Business Briefings which have traditionally been in the conference rooms have moved to our new Connected World in Hall 9. At the heart of Hall 9, the Connected World Hub will stage a series of free-admission seminars, presentations and business briefings to help visitors understand the implications and opportunities of the Connected World.