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9/11 and IBC: 10 years today

11 September 2011
9/11 and IBC: 10 years today

Where were you exactly 10 years ago? At 14.46pm on Tuesday 11th 2001 many thousands were in the RAI exhibition halls preparing for the opening day of IBC three days later. At the same time in New York City at 8.46am the first of the Twin Towers was attacked.

The US networks’ broadcast coverage soon reached Amsterdam and was routed live to the video screens in the RAI halls and lobbies. Work stopped as we watched the evolving horrific outcome of the attacks. For US-based visitors it was especially tragic and personal. From an IBC point of view the question was asked: “Should the show go on?“

Taking advice from the United States Consulate in the Hague, the message was clear, it must be business as usual; such acts of terrorism must not stop commerce.

It did not stop but there was sometimes a pause as many North American companies had personnel and equipment stranded by the cancellation of commercial flights. Conference speakers and visitors were similarly affected. By the time the show opened there were very few empty stands. Occasionally engineers became salesmen, salesmen became engineers, and local agents replaced North American headquarters staff. With the help of all, it was as suggested, business as usual.

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is today. No doubt you can remember where you were 10 years ago and today, with the many, direct your personal thoughts and remembrances to the many thousands who suffered in New York City.

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