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IBC 2020 is cancelled

Posted on: Tuesday 19th of May 2020

IBC organisers finally bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the world’s second largest broadcast trade show today, 19th May. The show was scheduled to take place in Amsterdam Sept 11-14th. 

Resolution editor Nigel Jopson said: “I spend a lot of time in the Netherlands, and IBC’s dogged insistence ‘the show would go on’ seemed misplaced, and has done the media production community a disservice. The Dutch government have completely banned large public gatherings. It is all laid out in the clearest possible terms at www.rijksoverheid.nl. To people actually living in Amsterdam, the idea of tens of thousands of visitors arriving at RAI seemed very far-fetched indeed.” IBC draws an average 55,000 visitors worldwide.

NOS (Netherlands Public Broadcasting system) report that Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema is afraid that the second coronavirus wave will turn the capital into a hotbed if too many tourists arrive. She said this in a debate with the city council about possible relaxation of restrictions. “I’m sorry if I put a damper on the atmosphere, but we have to realize how vulnerable we are.”

A week ago Panasonic became the latest company to announce it would not have a presence at IBC 2020. Ross Video followed just days later. It put pressure on IBC, which had seen other brands including Arvato Systems and Vidispine, Object Matrix, Plura, Cantemo and iconik all pull out.

Ross Video CEO David Ross said: “Everyone wants the world to return to normal as soon as possible, but not at any cost. The media industry has played an important role in spreading and reinforcing the message that social distancing saves lives. It’s therefore incongruous for the same media industry to try and hold one of the world’s first very large international gatherings

IBC CEO Michael Crimp today released the following statement:

I hope you are safe and well, as we continue to adapt to the changing world in which we find ourselves. Following on from my previous statement I wanted to give you an update on the developments and situation at IBC.

As previously outlined, the IBC team has been focused on assessing and developing appropriate plans for IBC2020 this September at the RAI Amsterdam.
Within these plans 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.

It has also become evident, through our dialogue with the IBC community, that an early decision is preferential for the industry so it can plan for the future.
Right now, despite the best work of the IBC team and our Dutch colleagues, there are still many unknowns. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC.

It is also evident that important aspects of a large-scale event such as IBC will be greatly altered by social distancing, travel restrictions, masks etc. so much so that the spirit of IBC will be compromised.

With that in mind and based on what we know at this point, it is with a heavy heart IBC has made the difficult decision to cancel the IBC2020 show. You may have seen IBC and the IABM surveys on this topic. Evidence gathered from these IBC stakeholders helps to confirm this decision.

Whilst this is hugely disappointing for us all, IBC will continue to play a vital role in supporting the industry to get back on track wherever we are able. For more than 50 years, IBC has provided the central annual meeting place for the Media, Entertainment & Technology community. For example, over the coming months IBC will continue to engage with the industry through its digital platform IBC365. Details of our plans will follow soon. Your views continue to help shape IBC.

If you have suggestions, questions or concerns regarding IBC’s decision and announcement please contact them using the dedicated email address: statusupdates@ibc.org

 



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