IBC 2015 – Our review of the show
What a show!
IBC have reported that attendance was up at the 2015 show, with 1,800 exhibitors, more than 250 conference speakers and over 55,100 visitors recorded from around the globe.
A key theme of the conference was the future of broadcast and media in an age of disruption, alongside the continuing rise of consumer power in the sector, with on-demand content continuing to change the nature of the broadcasting industry and an increased emphasis on the importance of functionality and user experience. We enjoyed reading the news in the IBC Daily in the mornings, catching up with the stories evolving in the conference sessions upstairs from the exhibition.
IBC never fails to impress, with its 14 halls of technology, from massive stands like Sony’s and Imagine’s, to a multitude of smaller stands with a huge range of offerings. This year we browsed the new Hackfest and enjoyed watching the drones in the new drone cage outside (although one of the team did say it might be even better if they’d had a Robot Wars style aerial contest inside the cage!) How about it IBC? Can we have Drone Wars for next year?!
Our advanced party of 4 arrived at Schiphol on Thursday so we could be at the RAI bright and early on Friday morning, ready to greet the visitors queueing outside the venue. Friday was unusually busy and our stand was bustling for most of the day, which continued with our first on-stand drinks event on the Friday afternoon. Then it was off to parties with clients and back to the hotel to try and get some zzzs before a longer day at the show on Saturday.
More of our team arrived on Saturday and Sunday and the advanced party returned home, over the weekend, footsore and a bit tired, but buzzing from a great 3 days at the show. Some members of our team are IBC veterans, regulars for more than a decade, whilst others were IBC virgins. The newer members of our team were wowed by the sheer size of the show, and the technology on display whilst the more experienced members made sure they wore comfortable shoes and had a ready supply of water and paracetamol!
We asked the team what impressed them most about the show and received a diverse range of answers – well we are a varied bunch ourselves, with a range of interests and backgrounds. So here’s a snapshot of the things that caught our eyes at the show:
- Hackfest – Hackfest was new to IBC this year and comprised a weekend challenge with the theme “Media Convergence and the Future of Audio-visual Content Creation, Distribution, and Monetisation”. Teams were challenged to mash up footage of a game and live sports tracking data from STATs with real-time interaction. With prizes to be won for the best concepts, and incorporating teams from around the world, coders, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, hardware hackers, UX and UI specialists and others came together and brainstormed over a couple of days to build out their ideas on the future of broadcasting over the weekend. Winners included “Tapball” a new commercial concept using gamification to make sports games even more entertaining to watch, by enabling users to interact with friends, view and play on a variety of devices and tap the screen if they think there is a goal coming… For more on the concepts that emerged from Hackfest please follow the link.
- Vizrt’s stand in Hall 7 – the company won the “Best Larger Free Design” stand award and the stand was certainly impressive, featuring green screen technology, live production story scripting, social TV and sports enhancements, newsroom automation and more.
- DVEO’s Spotter: Ad insertion technology is definitely nothing new, but targeting ads in the form of slices, crawls, alert bugs and video squeezes based on content and viewer information by real time data mining had one of the team keen to find out what advertisers think she wants to see.
- The drone cage was mentioned by many in the team as well as the very popular VR headsets available for visitors to try out in the Future Zone Hall.
Also worth mentioning:
- The team at Imagine Communications, for their great hospitality at their new location in IBC’s newest hall, the Amtrium
- Object Matrix’s cheese and whiskey night – Our IBC neighbours for a few years now, we very much enjoyed sampling the culinary delights of Wales, washed down with whiskey from the valleys (but we did miss the jelly babies they kept us supplied with last year!).
- Globecast’s party was also memorable and our team did well to be back on the stand bright and early the next day following that one…
As always Amsterdam provides a warm welcome and lively backdrop to an energetic and technology focussed show and we thank the people of Amsterdam for continuing to provide a welcoming smile each time we visit their picturesque city.
We’d also like to thank everyone who came to our stand for a chat, or for a drink or two, you are what make the show a pleasure to attend and we thank you for it. An additional big thank-you goes out to those who extended their after-show party invitations to our team!
A week on, the stands are packed up, the trucks have departed and everyone has returned home, it’s all over for another year, but we’re already planning our next visit – roll on IBC 2016!