Organizers of the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) said they plan to stage a hybrid event in December that includes an on-site gathering in Amsterdam along with a virtual option.
The annual conference has previously been staged in September.
The shift was flagged earlier this year, and confirmed this week by IBC chief executive Michael Crimp. “Following a period of industry consultation, the IBC Partnership has agreed that December is the best date in terms of safety and industry readiness to engage,” Crimp said.
About two-thirds of potential visitors and exhibitors said assurances of robust on-site health and safety protocols encouraged them to attend, with vaccination passport entry by far the most popular measure. Only one in ten potential attendees surveyed said they would not attend a December event, IBC said.
“We did not shift from September lightly” Crimp stressed, adding that December had been agreed upon because it would have been “tight” to arrange everything by the original date.
IBC 2021 will likely be one of the first major technical conferences to be held in Europe since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Crimp warned that the conference registration process could take twice as long as normal, allowing organizers to ensure the appropriate track-and-trace protocols are in place. They will include an opt-in photo pass and use of a facial recognition system.
“We also had to consider the ability of the supply chain to deliver a high-quality event,” Crimp said. “We believe that key services such as airports and airlines and hotels will have established smooth operations and be able to provide a more streamlined service by December.”
According to the IBC, whether attending in Amsterdam or virtually, “the 250,000-strong IBC community will be able to engage and enjoy the insights, innovation and interaction of the event through IBC Digital.”
One challenge is accounting for the pre-Christmas tourism in Amsterdam throughout December. Hence, attendees would be wise to book accommodations soon.