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IBC 2020: Everything we know…

The media technology industry’s major European trade show is currently scheduled to go ahead as planned in Amsterdam this September

As things stand, IBC 2020 is scheduled to go ahead in Amsterdam this September. 

Following the cancellation of NAB in April and with governments across the world either entertaining or employing the partial easing of lockdown restrictions, the eyes of the industry are now focused on IBC. 

One thing that will change should the event take place is that it will be reduced to four days, retaining its traditional Friday start on 11th September but closing on Monday 14th.  

The official line from IBC itself is that it continues to develop ‘appropriate plans’ for IBC 2020 and is ‘committed to delivering a successful event at the RAI Amsterdam’ in the safest way possible. 

Importantly, in IBC’s official statement on coronavirus, CEO Michael Crimp explains: “We are in daily contact with the City of Amsterdam and the management team at the RAI. They, in turn, are working with all their key stakeholders, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to KLM and Schiphol Airport. Please be assured that we are not blindly heading towards an event come what may: on behalf of the whole industry IBC needs to ensure the event – if we can make it happen – is safe and successful.” 

In late April, the Netherlands government extended a nationwide ban on major public events by three months until 1st September, just ten days before IBC is due to open. Indeed, should it go ahead IBC 2020 will be one of the earliest large scale events to take place since the global lockdown came into force. 

IBC shareholder association IABM is currently undertaking a survey of its members to gauge the feelings and opinions of the vendor community (IBC exhibitors) towards this year’s show.

Meanwhile, the RAI Amsterdam convention centre, the show’s annual host, released a statement on 12th May stating that it was ready to reopen and would run test events during the summer. The trial events would allow the centre to evaluate its capabilities in handling the flow of tens of thousands of people in a way that is compliant with the Netherlands government’s social distancing guidelines (where the advised safe distance between individuals is only 1.5 metres).

The statement points to the economic benefits of the RAI being up and running in September. “A good example is the technology exhibition IBC, which is planned for September and set to bring an economic impulse of some 80 million euros to Amsterdam.”

RAI’s CEO, Paul Riemens, explained, “Every euro spent at the RAI equals around seven euros spent in Amsterdam on hotel accommodations, hospitality venues, museums and shops. In other words, our events stimulate a great deal of turnover and employment.”

Exhibitor cancellations

To date, only a handful of exhibitors have announced that they will not be attending the show. Given the uncertainty around international travel and regions being in different stages of containing the pandemic, we can expect to see more companies making announcements over the coming weeks. 

By far the biggest companies to announce their withdrawals so far are Panasonic and Ross Video.

Other companies that have announced that they are not exhibiting currently include:

  • Arvato Systems and Vidispine
  • Cerberus Tech
  • Object Matrix
  • Open Broadcast Systems
  • Stirlitz Media
  • Densitron

In announcing its withdrawal on social media, Open Broadcast Systems referenced the proximity of the show to the proposed lifting of the Netherlands government’s ban on large events. 

IBC 2020

Ralf Schürmann, CEO of Arvato Systems S4M GmbH, explained the withdrawal of his companies: “As a major milestone in our events calendar, this has been a difficult decision to make. Our focus is now on ensuring that our customers can maintain business continuity during this challenging time.” 

Stirlitz Media also took to social media to announce its non-attendance:

IBC 2020

Cerberus Tech also announced on Twitter that it had decided not to attend this year’s show due to the ongoing pandemic.

While reiterating the importance of the show, Object Matrix also announced its decision not to attend in 2020.

We will continue to update this page as more information around IBC 2020 becomes available.