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IBC 2021: Everything we know…

The media technology industry’s major European trade show is scheduled to go ahead as planned in Amsterdam next month

IBC 2021 is scheduled to go ahead as planned next month, despite the Dutch government imposing a partial lockdown in the country.

The show takes place from 3rd-6th December at the RAI in Amsterdam.

IBC confirmed it plans to stage this year’s show following an IBC Partnership Board meeting, where it was agreed to continue with the planned event as organisers believe it “can be delivered safely and create the essential business momentum that the industry needs”.

In a statement, IBC chief executive Michael Crimp said:

“As content and technology companies strive to recover from the awful impact of Covid-19, IBC2021 will be the catalyst that brings the industry together again and enables us all to get back to doing business in person.

“We recognise that attending a live event is not for everyone at this time, and we fully respect individual decisions. We will forge ahead with our IBC Digital offering to ensure that whether onsite in Amsterdam or onscreen at home the industry can come together.”

Last week the Dutch government announced a three-week partial lockdown that is scheduled to run until Friday 3rd December, the first day of IBC. Restrictions will then be reviewed.


Visitors can register for the show via the IBC website. The free visitor passes provide access to the exhibition halls, content programme and Showcase Theatre sessions, show floor sessions, IBC Accelerator Media sessions, and more. There are also a limited number of Visitor Plus passes that provide fast-track on-site registration, access to Visitor Plus booths, and a dedicated networking lounge.

The show has revealed that some of the high profile media companies are scheduled to attend this year’s show include Disney, Netflix, Apple, BBC, ITV, Sky, BT Sport, France Televisions, RTE, RTL, Amazon Prime, Formula One, Olympic Broadcasting Union, FIFA, UEFA, NHK, Fox, CBC, ABC, Eurosport and ARD Germany.

Travel and safety protocols 

If you are travelling to the Netherlands from abroad, you should check the Netherlands government website for the latest guidance on travel from your country, and testing and Covid pass requirements upon arrival to, and departure from, the Netherlands.

You can find more information about the current safety protocols at the show on this page of the IBC website, or by clicking here.

Exhibitor cancellations

It’s important to note that plenty of companies have reiterated their commitment to exhibiting at the show since IBC’s announcement that the event will go ahead. The current list of exhibitors is available on IBC’s website.

However, in the interests of those potentially attending the show, it’s prudent to highlight some of the companies that have announced they will not be present this time around.

Despite being quoted among the list of exhibitors that were consulted in IBC’s decision to go ahead with the show, Blackmagic Design has this morning withdrawn from the event. The company said, “Blackmagic Design will not be exhibiting at IBC 2021 due to the Netherlands lockdown measures. We are disappointed but there is too much risk and uncertainty for us to exhibit. We really cannot wait to get back to shows but it’s going to have to wait a little longer.”

A source at Grass Valley has also confirmed to TVBEurope that the company will not be exhibiting at the show.

In September, Ross Video announced it would not attend the show, citing concern about “predicted spikes in infection rates from the Delta variant of Covid-19. With the international travel situation continuing to be uncertain and customer appetite for a physical event in December unclear at best, we do not feel able to ask employees, partners and customers to make the trip to Amsterdam.”

Sony also confirmed it is not exhibiting at IBC this year, but is expected to attend to “meet partners and support the event”.

Another high-profile company to pull out from the show since IBC’s announcement earlier this week is Canon, which said, “After careful consideration, Canon has made the difficult decision not to exhibit at IBC 2021. As a normal course of business, we always fully evaluate the viability of our participation at major trade shows and events. Given the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and the understandable concerns that people have around travelling to the Netherlands, which is facing stricter restrictions, it seems inappropriate to continue with our plans to exhibit.

“IBC has been and will continue to be, a hugely valuable event for our business and we remain totally committed to the broadcast and professional video industry, supporting our customers and partners’ demands, today, and over the long term.”

Telestream has also confirmed it will no longer be attending. CEO Dan Castles said, “We are disappointed for our customers, our partners, and our staff. But we also have a clear duty to protect our colleagues, their families, and the people of Amsterdam during this extremely challenging and rapidly evolving health situation. We were truly looking forward to spending time in person with our industry colleagues but the resurgence of the pandemic and increased restrictions put in place by the Dutch government have left us with no other option than to withdraw our participation. We look forward to better, safer days in 2022.”

Viaccess-Orca is another notable withdrawal, with CEO Philippe Leonetti announcing this week, “This was a tough decision for us to make, but the health and safety of our employees and industry colleagues remains our top priority. With the recent rise in Covid-19 cases throughout Europe, and following the Dutch government’s Nov. 12 statement, we no longer think that we can experience a safe and successful IBC Show this year.”

Object Matrix has also decided not to travel to Amsterdam. In a statement released to TVBEurope, CEO Jon Morgan said: “We at Object Matrix are full believers that the best, most frank and constructive conversations can be held face-to-face and look forward to meeting our customers again in a safe environment where conversations can be held that aren’t from behind a mask and when restaurant curfews don’t curtail the evening conversations. We wish Amsterdam a swift recovery from this Covid wave and that we will be able to return soon.”

Xytech has also withdrawn, releasing a strongly worded statement: “The decision to proceed with the IBC show is in contradiction with the stated commitment to health and safety not only to exhibitors and attendees, but to the general population,” said Greg Dolan, chief commercial officer. “We are disappointed and confused to see common sense has not prevailed, and the Netherland’s officials and IBC Partnership Board has chosen this path.”

Other companies to publicly bow out include DVB Project, LiveU, Pebble, EditShare, SDVI Corporation, Synamedia, CommScope, Broadpeak, DHD.Audio, vMix, Irdeto, Newsbridge (exhibiting virtually), Schoeps, Irdeto, Aspectra, Agama Technologies, AVT, Videomenthe and 2wcom.

The IABM – an association representing its membership of broadcast manufacturers, and an IBC stakeholder – has revealed the preliminary results of a survey into market intent with regard to IBC show attendance. The results so far are that 65.7 per cent of respondents say that they will not attend the show, with only 18.9 per cent saying that they will.