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My IBC: Chris Evans, Futuresource Consulting

Our final Q&A in the My IBC series features Chris Evans, head of pro video, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting

What’s your typical IBC routine: what are you there to see/learn, who are you there to meet? 

A typical IBC will be a solid mix of client meetings and booth visits. As market analysts its essential we learn as much about the technologies and products being brought to market by the brands we do know as those we don’t. 

Trade show visits are how we stay ahead of the game discovering the technologies that will be making waves in one, two, ten years’ time. We don’t exhibit ourselves, so we’ll be going in with a carefully curated schedule of meetings. But, I always make sure to keep a few windows free to explore the full exhibition. This is vital to discover the companies and technologies that are going under the radar. And of course, any trip to IBC not complete without stocking up on stroop waffles. 

What are you most looking forward to at IBC 2022? 

As cliché as it sounds, I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with clients and research contacts. We’ve got over two years to catch up on and new faces to meet that we’ve started working with only in a virtual capacity amidst the pandemic. Also, for some of my team it will be their first experience of an international trade show, and I’m as excited to see what they make of the event and what they take away from the show. 

On the technology front, product demonstrations are always key. Some fantastic case studies and innovations have emerged during the pandemic era, as the broadcast and media industry has had to overcome challenges in these unique circumstances. But due to the nature of set restrictions and careful control of facilities, we haven’t all had a chance to see these workflows and integrations. Also, for broadcast technologies, a true representation of image quality and other aspects of product performance can’t always be represented over standard video collaboration platforms like Zoom or teams. 

Real world demos of the video production technologies being used in new and exciting ways are what will make a brand stand apart from their competitors in a trade show. 

Why is IBC important to you in a professional capacity, and how does the show compare to others on the calendar? 

Attending IBC creates a concentration of client and research meetings in quick succession that is really stimulating. Thanks to our research partners we’re lucky to spend the duration of the show having very thought-provoking conversations on both present state of industry, or what is to come back to back. 

We find every day we build on what we learned the day before and by the end come out with a very clear sense of where the products and technologies we track are at. The types of conversations that trade shows like IBC facilitate are incredibly useful for validating or challenging our ideas and outlook on markets. 

The timing of IBC helps us set the agenda for the year to come. The months that follow we will be locking in our core production schedule, and the September timing helps give us confidence in the research that we’re pursuing that is in line with the direction of the industry and our clients’ expectations. 

NAB makes a big splash early in the year, but I find IBC is well timed to get a reality check and a real gauge on the state of play; what technologies are actually making a difference nearly six months on. Some trends that are hyped early in the year have played out, and other more urgent topics may have emerged. We’re also further along in our production schedule so it’s a great platform to showcase our own data and findings from our annual reports which have been published.