Michael Lumley, chair of the IBC2014 conference committee, introduces this year’s programme and outlines some of the key highlights from the agenda.
I am delighted to share with you some of the thinking behind the planning for this year’s IBC Conference. I emphasise the word ‘planning’: we aim to be topical and reflect the issues that are really relevant to our industry. Sometimes that means we finalise details, or change our plans, right up to the last minute to get the best possible speakers and topics for debate.
Our content editor, Graham Lovelace, and the team of experienced and talented executive producers has constructed a programme that aims to challenge and open minds. They will continue to work on it, right up to the last moment, so keep checking the website for the latest information.
While the nature and structure of the industry has been metamorphosing over the last decade, the pace of change is now intense. We are moving from a broadcast world, where channel owners dictate what consumers watch, to a multi-platform, anytime, anywhere experience where the viewer is in charge.
Technically, too, the transformation has been total. From a business dependent upon bespoke hardware with bespoke connectivity over bespoke cables and connectors, we are moving rapidly into the IP world. Much of our technology now depends upon standard IT equipment, and there is a real prospect of a move away from our familiar video formats towards connecting everything over ethernet.
This year our conference starts with that very issue. Thursday’s programme asks where broadcast sits in an IP-centric world. The strategic, business, content and technical streams each contribute to the core debate around how we create, manage and distribute content.
That core structure is reflected throughout the conference this year. Each day will take a theme, with these themes building through the week. Within and around the themes there are a number of strands, allowing different parts of your business to gain their own insights.
Following Thursday’s broadcasting in an IP-centric world, on Friday we look at how, by embracing change, we can open up new opportunities and overcome new challenges. Saturday addresses the impact of new players in our industry, and analyses their challenges to the established order.
On Sunday we look to the future, and aim to gain an understanding of the possible disruptions to come. Monday draws all the strands together, with sessions explaining, inspiring and forecasting on the key outcomes and conclusions.
Extended Big Screen
Each day will see a plenary session with one or more world-renowned keynote speakers. On Thursday the health of broadcast television will be discussed by David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4, Bruce Tuchman, President, Sundance Channel Global, MGM Channel Global, Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC and Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications.
Friday’s keynote speaker is Matt Brittin, Vice-President, Google Europe, and Saturday we hear from Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the world’s biggest broadcast brand. On Sunday we welcome a familiar face from in front of the camera, the scientist and presenter Professor Brian Cox OBE.
Monday is the heart of our digital cinema conference programme. We have an extended Big Screen Experience this year, with more opportunities to see and talk about the latest developments as the disciplines of cinema and traditional broadcast continue to merge. Most of these sessions will take place in the superbly equipped Auditorium with its state of the art projection and audio.
As mentioned earlier, running vertically through the conference are streams offering the strategic overview and business and creative viewpoints.
Alongside these streams sit our technical papers, the foundation on which the IBC conference is built. Through its careful peer reviewing, IBC remains the most prestigious place to present new scientific thinking for our industry.
Threaded into the conference is a set of sessions designed for every visitor, and free to anyone registered for IBC. These Industry Insight sessions include the ever-popular What Caught My Eye strand, where we ask an industry expert to take a look at what is new and game-changing in a particular area, helping you identify the must-see exhibits on the show floor.
The IBC Conference is all this and much more. Our website – www.ibc.org/conferenceprogramme – has the programme as it develops, along with details of every session and biographies of all our speakers. It is not too early to start planning how you will get maximum value from your visit. If you have not yet registered, you can choose the most appropriate pass for you and save by booking online.
IBC attracts visitors and conference delegates from well over 170 countries. It is the one truly global event for our industry, and the best place to invest in knowledge, particularly in this time of transformative change. I look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.