IBC Still Planning on In-Person September Event But Has Fall-Back Option in December

IBC has announced that while it is still focusing on the return of a live event at The RAI in Amsterdam this year Sept. 10-13, it also has a fall-back option of December 3-6, 2021. IBC also announced the launch of visitor and exhibitor surveys to take the pulse of the industry leading up the event, as well as plans to treat the in-person show similar to “a large scale sporting event like the Olympics or an arena rock concert” in which strict safety protocols and entry points are in place.

“The industry is telling us that people are keen to come together again after being apart for a long time,” says Michael Crimp, Chief Executive of IBC. “In the coming months, a number of factors will help us decide when the event can happen and in what format. From macro trends such as vaccine roll out and testing, to the willingness of our attendees to travel, we will take all things into consideration as we make those important decisions. We are aiming to create a fresh and valuable event experience that enables the industry to engage and explore the future of media together again in a safe way”

Crimp adds that in order to gather views from across the IBC community, IBC is launching a visitor survey today and will also roll out a targeted exhibitor survey next week, in partnership with IABM. The visitor survey is live now and can be found here

“We all have an opportunity to think differently this year,” he says. “A good example of this is how we are embracing hybrid/ digital to give IBC more reach than ever before. Also, we are fully prepared to shift to December if that will deliver the safest and most valuable outcome. We would encourage the IBC community to be open to these ideas when they complete the surveys.”

IBC has selected ExpoPlatform, an AI-powered platform for hybrid and online exhibitions and conferences, to support its digital offering. The move will enable IBC to create a hybrid event that combines the best of the show floor with online interaction.

With safety a major consideration in the planning of any physical event in today’s climate, IBC is focusing on how it can create a safe environment that still delivers the value and enjoyment that attendees have traditionally experienced in Amsterdam.

According to IBC, gaining access to the 2021 show will feel similar to attending a large scale sporting event like the Olympics or an arena rock concert. At such major events there is a perimeter around the venue at which attendees pass through security, bag checks, and ID/ticket validation. IBC 2021 will use a similar approach with a purpose-built perimeter around The RAI, with multiple entry points where attendees will be processed under COVID health and safety protocols. This means that once within the perimeter, attendees will be free to move around The RAI complex, inside and out, without further physical checks — minimizing lines and congestion. Various technology tools will be used, including opt-in facial recognition for contactless registration and badge pickup and Artificial Intelligence to monitor visitor movement and control capacity in all areas.

Crimp concludes, “We realize that IBC 2021 may be the first large event that many people will attend for some time. Rest assured, we are putting a lot of time and energy into planning what that experience will be like this year. The world is very different from when we all last went to a trade show, and the IBC 2021 experience will reflect that. We have been working closely with The City of Amsterdam and The RAI to ensure attendees can get the most out of IBC 2021 while keeping everyone safe. We have an overriding duty to get this right and to repay the trust that has been placed in us for over 50 years.”

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