IBC is working hard on a creating a safe and valuable hybrid experience with greater reach than ever before, and as part of our plans we want to hear from you, writes IBC chief executive Michael Crimp.

In the conversations I have with people from across the industry every day, I hear a growing desire to break away from the world of Zoom and come together again. 

michael crimp IBC CEO

Michael Crimp: IBC CEO

Now’s the time to share more information on what a safe IBC2021 experience will be like and to request input from across the community on our plans.

Clearly, circumstances will continue to evolve in the run-up to the event, and we will adjust plans accordingly. However, by giving the whole IBC community a good idea of how IBC2021 is shaping up, we aim to give everyone a reasonable basis on which they can provide feedback.

Keeping an open mind

We’re working on creating what we think will become a new era of inclusive hybrid IBC events. This means combining a safe onsite experience in Amsterdam with much more content available to access online. We’ll have a new digital platform that uses AI technology to boost opportunities for online interaction. Collectively, these initiatives will mean that IBC will deliver more extensive reach than ever before, creating even more opportunities for sharing ideas and driving sales.

Consulting with everyone Take part in the IBC Industry Survey here

A key component of that, of course, is the return of a live event at the RAI in Amsterdam. We’re planning for that to happen on 10-13 September, with a fall-back option of 3-6 December. We will switch to the December date if that is the safest and most valuable option. We’re keeping an open mind on the dates, and I’d like to request that everyone remains open to change too.

Our decision will be based on lots of variables, including what’s happening with vaccines and testing. We also want to make sure that we can gather views from as many people in the IBC community as possible.

A different experience

If we’re asking for opinions about coming to the show, it’s essential to paint a picture of what the experience is likely to be - based on our plans at the moment. We understand that IBC may be the first big event that many people come to in a long time. It will be a different experience from previous years, with safety in the current climate at the forefront of our planning. We’ve worked alongside The RAI and the City of Amsterdam to develop our approach.

Arriving at IBC 2021 will feel like coming to a major sporting event like the Olympics, or an arena concert, where you would pass through security and have your ID and ticket checked at a perimeter fence.

We’ll have a similar set-up, with multiple entry points where everyone will be checked under Covid health and safety protocols. We’ll be offering the option to use facial recognition for contactless registration and badge pickup. Once inside, you’ll be able to move throughout the RAI, including outside spaces, without further checks. I’m sure many people will be pleased to know that The Beach will be within the perimeter, along with lots of other catering options.

Inside the venue, there will be wide aisles and a one-way system, much like you would find at a retailer like Ikea. Artificial Intelligence will monitor visitor movement and enable the onsite team to manage capacity in halls. Catering and bars will operate the same protocols as you would find elsewhere – you’ll be able to remove your mask when seated, and social distancing will continue to be in place. Every exhibitor booth will operate track and trace check-ins. You won’t find any paper-based marketing. As well as reducing the potential for virus transmission, this will be a significant step in reducing environmental impact.

We’re very keen to get a broad cross-section of views. I’d like to invite everyone to take part in our industry survey. It should only take a few minutes to complete, and your opinions will be an invaluable part of our decision-making for IBC 2021.

Michael Crimp is chief executive, IBC

Consulting with everyone Take part in the IBC Industry Survey here