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IBC celebrates 50th anniversary by maintaining proud traditions.

AMSTERDAM--In 1967, the first International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) was held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, featuring just 32 exhibitors and 500 conference delegates.

Back then, the founders identified three key strands that will make IBC a success: a comprehensive exhibition, a visionary conference and the networking opportunities to share ideas.

As IBC2017 prepares to welcome 55,000 visitors to the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, these beliefs have continued to hold true, even as IBC continues to evolve. Michael Crimp, CEO, IBC, says: "IBC has evolved along with the industry, or rather, IBC has strived to identify the key trends which will transform the industry, and ensure that we are ahead of the curve."

And even in today's digital age, trade shows such as IBC will continue to play a key role by providing opportunities for visitors to get hands-on with technology, and to ask "awkward questions" of vendors, Crimp suggests, adding: "With the whole industry in one place, it is also the chance to bring technology partners together, to talk through the details of interactivity and interoperability. IBC is the best place to do this because we work hard to deliver the best experience for visitors."

Besides the show floor, where some 1,700 exhibitors are highlighting the latest broadcast technologies, Crimp also urges visitors to find time to attend the IBC Conference, which comes with the theme of Truth, Trust and Transformation.

Featuring five tracks running over five days, session topics range from the "deeply technical", such as new codec design, to fake news and alternative facts. "There is not just something for everyone--there is a lot for everyone," Crimp says. "The industry is so much broader than it once was. Consumers used to watch TV, because that was all the that the technology could achieve. Today, they expect to choose what they want to watch, when and where they want to watch it, and on the device and platform which happen to be convenient at the time."

Besides applying to the IBC Conference, Truth, Trust and Transformation is also the over-arching theme for IBC2017, because it is hard to ignore the rapid proliferation of terms such as 'fake news' and 'alternative facts' over the past year, Crimp explains. He asks: "Broadcasters have traditionally been the trusted brand for news: Is the era of social media and universal Internet access changing that?"

Crimp also identifies one of the challenges of the transition to IP connectivity--the risk that the media industry will become a major target for malware and hackers. "As the transport platform becomes more open, the more we need to focus on cybersecurity and the intrinsic design of safe, secure systems," he says.

Such is the attention that IBC2017 is paying to cybersecurity, that a day has been devoted to the topic at the new C-Tech Forum, which features two days of specialist presentations and debate. The main conference will also feature a session on cybersecurity on Friday, September 15, where experts from around the world will debate what can, and should, be done to protect content and operations.

Other highlights of IBC2017 include an emphasis on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), which are asking many questions. Crimp offers: "We know what VR can do, but how can we tell stories with it? How can we monetise it?"

For those who like the outdoors, outside broadcast (OB) trucks and drones will continue to a key attraction at the outdoor exhibition areas and as Crimp is keen to highlight, he believes every single visitor will find the answers to their own particular questions --or questions shared by most, as the convergence of media industries continues.

Crimp explains: "Whereas once there might be specialist sessions, or even a separate event, for the presentation industry, or digital signage, or local TV infrastructures, now they have all become part of one open, connected media world.

"There is no difference, for example, between a broadcast monitor wall and a large-scale digital signage system or an industrial control centre. They all depend upon IP connectivity and intelligent processing to put multiple virtual screens on a single high-resolution display. That same IP connectivity might connect a broadcast facility or an AV centre."

The IBC2017 Conference is held from September 14-18, while the exhibition takes place from September 15-19. For more on what you can expect on the exhibition floors, turn to pages 14-18.
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Title Annotation:NEWS & VIEWS
Publication:APB Magazine
Article Type:Conference notes
Date:Sep 1, 2017
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