IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide. In 2009, the show attracted more than 45,000 attendees from 140 countries around the world, exhibiting more than 1,300 of the world's key technology suppliers and showcasing a debate-leading conference that, among other vital sessions, brought together the ASC and the BSC digital camera tests and offered pioneering insight into the latest developments in stereoscopic 3D.
A Short History of IBC
The first IBC was held in 1967, in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. There were just 32 exhibitors and 500 conference delegates, and of course broadcasting was a very different business.
What would have been the reaction of those first 60s delegates had they been told that by 2009, not only would they have a computer on their desk but that it would be capable of editing high-definition video, or that they would carry a telephone in their pocket wherever they went which would also be a video camera?
The first IBC came about because a group of manufacturers wanted to organise an exhibition, but its initial success meant it needed to be organised more formally. From 1968 it was managed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) – now the IET, following the merger between IEE and IIE in 2006 - with advice from the RTS, as an event by the industry for the industry. This also meant that the conference became a vital part of IBC.
From the Royal Lancaster Hotel IBC moved first to the Wembley Conference Centre and then to Brighton on the south coast of England, where it eventually occupied exhibition space in the Conference Centre, the Majestic Hotel and the Grand Hotel.
But by 1990, the lack of exhibition and meeting space - and a chronic shortage of hotel rooms - had reached crisis point. Under the leadership of John Wilson, IBC embarked on a programme of dramatic change.
IBC became an independent body, owned by six partner bodies: IABM, IEEE, IET, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE, with a full-time professional staff. The strong association with these leading trade bodies, and the committee structures for exhibition and conference, ensured that the event was still run by the industry for the industry, but the dedicated staff meant that the organisation could be much more flexible and responsive.
IBC also moved from the UK to the Netherlands. After very careful research into venues capable of meeting the very specific demands of IBC, the Amsterdam RAI was chosen, hosting its first IBC in July 1992 (the normal September dates not being available that year). From 1994 IBC became an annual event, and it has remained in Amsterdam ever since.
Today, IBC’s management is continually looking at ways to develop the event to meet the rapidly changing needs of the industry. It has extended its reach, for example, becoming one of the most influential events in digital cinema worldwide, thanks to its ability to demonstrate to the very highest standards as well as host top-level debates. Recently it has added dedicated zones covering mobile television, IPTV and digital signage.
IBC remains the leading event on the global stage for everyone involved in content creation, management and delivery. By remaining close to its industry roots it continues to deliver a conference and exhibition which are comprehensive, stimulating and relevant to the real needs of its visitors.