As IBC SHOWCASE gets underway, IBC CEO Michael Crimp welcomes the industry to IBC’s digital show

These are challenging times. Normally, I would be writing a welcome for the first edition of IBC Daily, and I would be talking about how good it is to be back in Amsterdam, ready to share knowledge and experiences. I would talk about how the opportunities to network, and outline some of the things that I would be looking forward to.

michael crimp IBC CEO

Michael Crimp - IBC CEO

Well, of course, IBC this year is very different. When it became clear, back in May, that travelling and gathering together would be difficult, we made the decision to move to a virtual IBC. Since then, the team has worked tirelessly to reimagine how we do things. My thanks and congratulations to them for all they have achieved.

So IBC2020 looks very different, of course. But in many ways, nothing has changed. IBC has always been the place where the latest ideas are unveiled, debated and tested. It is where innovation is recognised and experiences shared.

If ever there was a time when we all had new experiences to share, it surely is now. Since the beginning of the year, the electronic media industry has had to transform itself, to continue to create and deliver content while keeping its people safe.

One of the interesting challenges this has brought is that consumers have become – have been forced to become – content creators. It has been the time for Zoom and other video conferencing platforms to shine. So many people are now seen by colleagues, clients and friends around the world, through the medium of online connectivity. Unspoken contests arose, like who had the most interesting books on the shelf behind them when on a video call.

And if so many of us spent our working hours on Zoom, then when we take a break we need to see something better, something engaging – broadcast quality content. Finding ways to achieve that has seen the best brains in broadcasting coming up with enterprising new ideas.

And talking of innovative ideas, the progress of our industry has not slowed. At IBC we have maintained our Media Innovation Accelerator Programme, bringing together multi-company teams to develop solutions for real use cases.

This sort of collaborative achievement, where users and vendors have to strive together to achieve a satisfying conclusion, has long been a core IBC theme – for 20 years our IBC Innovation Awards have recognised just that sort of work.

The Media Innovation Accelerator Programme encourages invention in areas such as 5G, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and sustainability. IBC has provided the framework for five months of open, shared R&D, with the goal of unveiling the work during IBC SHOWCASE. I have been tracking the projects in the scheme, and I am very excited by what we will get to see.

And yes, we will all get to see this and all the other elements of IBC – in virtual form. For four days, the IBC Showcase is delivering the best information and education in the form of an online exhibition and conference. Our aim is to make this the most engaging virtual event to date.

Much of the content will be presented live, to maximise interactivity. With so much innovation in 2020, it is right that everyone gets the opportunity to dig deep into what has been done, and to question those who have worked on it.

IBC’s vision is to be the world’s leading provider of knowledge and networking opportunities, serving the media, entertainment and technology communities. With your engagement, IBC SHOWCASE will continue to meet that vision.

Sign up, log on and join in. And while I will only be able to meet you virtually this year, plans are well under way to bring IBC back to Amsterdam in September 2021.