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My IBC: Gay Bell, CEO, Platform Communications

The chief executive at Platform Communications wears many hats at events like IBC

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

At trade shows like IBC, I tend to wear a lot of different hats. Not literally, of course; though now I’ve mentioned it, the temptation to pack my suitcase with an array of headgear is very real! Working with the on-site Platform Communications team I am always busy looking after clients, going to new prospect meetings, moderating and attending conference sessions, networking and catching up with industry friends from around the world.

Helping our clients achieve strong ROI at trade shows is an important part of what we do, and my number one priority is making sure our clients are happy and having a successful show. Communications plays a huge role in driving success at an event like IBC. It can be the difference between having the right leads or tumbleweed on your booth. 

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

IBC is in the Champions League of global technology events, and a really important date on the Media and Entertainment calendar. It is an ideal place to explore and navigate the changes that are opening up the sector. Whether that is new markets (XR, gaming, corporate/brands), new types of partners (e.g., 5G), new competitors and new buyers (AV/corporate) the media landscape is transforming and
IBC2023 is where the future of the global media and entertainment industry will be defined and actioned. All of this means huge opportunities for growth but it requires communications that aren’t just the same as before. The winners will have clear, compelling stories that engage a variety of audiences. 

Platform is the global PR agency of record for IBC and I am the account lead, so this really is the most important event of the year for me. Being part of Team IBC means I have a lot of insight into how the show is shaping up and the opportunity to work with the various industry experts who put the event together. We work closely with the IBC marketing team to make sure exhibitors, visitors, speakers and the media are well informed about the wide range of opportunities, content and experiences the show offers.

What are you most looking forward to at IBC 2023?

There is so much to look forward to in Amsterdam this September. I always enjoy walking the exhibition floor, you never know what you will see or who you might bump into. I also cherry-pick conference sessions and this year I’ll be looking out for topics such as AI/deep learning, immersive experiences, as well as global content consumption trends. 

I am looking forward to dipping into the IBC Accelerator programme. There are some ground-breaking initiatives this year like real-time interactive live streaming, extended reality (XR) sports experiences, 5G-powered motion capture for performance art, and some incredible work using ‘synthetic humans’ to engage audiences in more immersive ways while driving accessibility in media storytelling. 

Ultimately, events like IBC are about the people. People you can connect with, people you can learn from, people you can share experiences with, people who inspire you by driving change and accelerating innovation, and people you can have fun with. Yes, I’m looking forward to catching up with the fun people most of all.