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IBC grows in scope, reach and diversity

Johannesburg, South Africa -IBC2018 has closed its doors for this year and has delivered another great event with visitor figures of 55,884. As well as providing a host of new initiatives this year, the exhibition grew by 667m2 and conference delegates were up by 14 per cent year on year. One of the most important growth figures lies in the diversity of its content with a targeted effort increasing women speakers at the conference up from 14 per cent to 37 per cent.

The IBC International Honour for Excellence saw its first-ever woman recipient this year, too. Joan Ganz Cooney was the co-creator of the global phenomenon that is Sesame Street, 50 years ago and her trophy was collected on her behalf by one of the street’s longest residents, Ernie.

The IBC App has provided real networking opportunities, with more than 91,000 interactions on the matchmaking platform. In addition, IBC trended number one on Twitter in the Netherlands on several days of the convention, with 185 million potential impressions and over 250,000 video views. Engagement with IBC has also increased on a year-round basis with IBC365 – the site now has over 55,000 subscribers averaging 49,000 active users per month.

Michael Crimp, IBC’s CEO, comments; “The show is about engagement, engagement, engagement. The stats are up in almost all areas and re-bookings are ahead of last year. IBC is much more than a trade show, we have developed a basket of data-driven statistics including sales leads generated on stands, conference attendance and IBC365 views and this sharing of information is pivotal to the longevity of IBC’s success and sits at the core of the organisation.”

“All of the initiatives this year have been aimed at bringing together the best minds, the original thinkers, to network and share their knowledge. As all communication becomes video and audio, IBC continues to be the place to debate the future of media, technology and entertainment,” adds Crimp.

Guiding the renewed focus this year was a new content steering group, drawn from across the industry, and chaired by Keith Underwood, chief operating officer at Channel 4 in the UK.

IBC head of content Jaisica Lapsiwala, said, “This year, we have worked closely with the industry to create a programme that is not only reflective of the changes in the ecosystem, but which also paves a path forward for our industry. This has resulted in an engaging and diverse 2018 edition of IBC. An example of this was our Global Gamechangers day which brought creative, technology and business chiefs such as Zahra Rasool from Al Jazeera, Peter Salmon from Endemol and Lindsay Pattison from WPP to the stage. Threaded through the programme were the cutting-edge technologies transforming the industry. Blockchain is a great example, with a keynote from Kim Jackson of Singular DTV and papers from people who are already implementing it, like Éric Minoli of Groupe Média TFO.”

Alongside the conference, IBC hosted three invitation-only executive forums. The Leaders’ Forum looked to the future, considering what the new ecosystem could be following consolidation, acquisition and collaboration. The Cyber Security Forum considered not just the threats but how to respond to them. New to the programme this year was the Telco and Media Innovation Forum, a vital point of debate as the boundaries between media and communication blur.

Once again, IBC was the venue for an examination of the intersection of craft and technology in The Big Screen. Sessions included an in-depth look at the effects in Game of Thrones and Pixar’s Dominic Glynn talking about the animation marvel that is The Incredibles 2 – and how things have changed in the 14 years since the original movie.

The Future Zone is always a busy part of IBC, with presentations from researchers and academic bodies developing the ideas which may become the hit products five years from now. This year saw the addition of a theatre stage, presented by one of IBC’s owners, IABM, with a rolling programme of presentations discussing the ideas in more detail.

As well as the IBC Big Screen, the IABM Future Trends Theatre and the Content Everywhere Hub, staged presentations and enlarged on-stand meeting areas are becoming an increasingly common feature of exhibition stands throughout the show. “As the industry has moved on from big boxes handling discrete functions towards a software-based world that looks across the content supply chain, so the way vendors present themselves and interact with visitors at IBC has changed,” said Roger Thornton, chair of the IBC exhibition committee.

“Today, it’s all about collaboration to deliver solutions that give broadcast and media companies the agility and flexibility they need to keep ahead in this rapidly transforming media landscape. That’s why we’re seeing more and more companies using big-picture theatre presentations on their stands and providing large meeting areas where the conversations that kick off the collaboration get started.”

IBC2019 starts with the first day of conference sessions on Thursday 12 September, running until the exhibition closes on Tuesday 17 September 2019.