IBC 2020 canceled; opts for virtual event this year

IBC 2020 Canceled

With a growing roster of companies sending in their regrets because of coronavirus worries, organizer today declared IBC 2020 canceled.

The powerhouse European broadcasting trade show held annually in Amsterdam will instead offer a weeklong virtual event instead.

The conference, which had been scheduled for Sept. 11-14 leaves more than 55,000 attendees – and hundreds of vendors – with yet another open date on their calendars. It follows on the heels of NAB and MWC and numerous other industry events that have canceled due to the pandemic.

IBC can’t ‘guarantee a safe and valuable event’

IBC CEO Michael Crimp, in a post on the organization’s homepage, said “it is crucial that IBC can deliver a safe and successful environment. However, as governments announce the route forward, it has become clear that a return to (a new) normal is unlikely to be achieved by September.” Crimp added, “we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC.”

The spirit, said Crimp, of the event – faced with social distancing, masks and travel restrictions, to name just a few of the impediments – would have a massive impact on the event. Since 1967 the IBC show has drawn huge crowds of attendees cramming into exhibit halls, social events and the streets of Amsterdam.

Exhibitors have been hesitant to commit to the event and a number have backed out. Last week, Panasonic and Ross announced they did not intend to have a booth in Amsterdam.

IBC said it would conduct a virtual event hosted, most likely hosted on IBC365, the organization’s digital platform. More to come on that topic in the months to come.

The bottom line

A number of countries have slowly begun to open up their economies, ending or phasing out stay-at-home rules. But a number of tech giants that play central roles at industry shows have been clear the intend to wait. Many will maintain bans on anything but essential travel through the end of the year… and possibly beyond.

Will CES in Las Vegas be the next conference to cancel? Too early to tell, but there’s nothing set in stone yet as the world continues to slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is clear is how critical is is for organization – like the IBC – to have secure and reliable technology that can be used in times like these. And, make no mistake, our “new normal” will be significantly different from the normal we left behind.

Stay tuned and stay well.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn