IBC 08. Day #1
Another year – another IBC. This is at least my twelfth in a row, so there is something wonderfully familiar about it all.
The first day of the show is a half day, so since I used it mainly just to drop by and say hello to a few people, there's not too much to report back about yet on the technology front. That said, IBC seemed busy with plenty of people ready to hit the stands at the earliest opportunity. The broadcast industry is currently under some economic pressure, certainly in the UK, so it's very positive to see a busy show right from the off.
For those that haven't made it to IBC before, it's held in Amsterdam each September. It's the same deal as NAB – just with Heineken lager instead of margaritas. There are always background rumours about whether IBC should move to another city. Some say that the exhibition centre is too far from the city centre, others complain about the availability of hotel rooms. For me, I really like it here. It has the fun factor that is essential for hosting an event for the media industry but also has the chill factor provided by quiet canal-side coffee bars. The city itself appears to work hard to welcome IBCers, providing each of us with free public transport across the whole city for the duration of the show. Hotels can be an issue and early booking is essential. Future delegates should note that Amsterdam seems to have a certain expertise in “budget” accommodation – those sorts of places where the 2-stars displayed at the door are perhaps a little optimistic!
As I mentioned, I just used this afternoon to touch base with the usual suspects and that inevitably leads to the centre of IBC activity – the IBC pub. This is where you can meet anyone you hadn't thought about arranging a meeting to meet with, since between meetings, that's where they'll be! This leads me onto a plea on behalf of all delegates of all similar conventions. We need to do something about positioning name badges. Hanging them around the neck so that they dangle around the owner's midriff causes severe social problems. The problem is, when you bump into someone, for example at the IBC pub, who you generally only ever bump into at bars at trade shows, it's often hard to recall their names. No problem – they have a name badge on them. The problem is that if you are caught looking down at their name badge, you could easily be mistaken for checking out their breasts (lady badge holder), genitals (male badge holder) or being Amsterdam, entirely possibly the other way around. Alternatively, you might get away with just disclosing that you rudely cannot remember their name. Might I suggest attaching name badges to foreheads would solve this problem completely?
Okay – so my first blog about IBC mentions nothing about technology or broadcast at large. That's not just because I spent the first afternoon in the IBC pub, but because I have my agenda over the next couple of days to report back on. Specifically, because Concrete operates equipment from every major manufacturer – Quantel, Autodesk, SGO, Avid, Adobe etc, I'm always on the look out for stuff that helps join it all together. I'll report back how successful that search becomes over the next couple of days.
Off to another bar now for an evening with a random collection of suppliers, delegates, journalists and other riff raff. Such gatherings are what IBC is all about – getting together with like-minded people from all sides of the industry with the intention of making things better. By then end of the night, we will have solved all the world's issues. Let's just hope we remember those solutions in the morning!