Moss: Fall Show Season Ramps Up With IBC

Brett Moss is gear & technology editor.

Sort of like the NAB Show, except in Europe.

That’s the reputation of the annual IBC convention, to be held this year in Amsterdam, Sept. 9–14 and looming large on the travel schedules of jet-setting broadcasters and equipment makers. Like the NAB’s vaunted spring show in Las Vegas, the IBC show offers an enormous exhibit floor demonstrating  cool broadcast technologies, from content creation to content distribution, along with sessions addressing topics from regulation to business ideas and practices to new technologies such as social media.

It seems that broadcasters across the globe face many of the same problems.

The first IBC was held in the late 1960s in London. From 1968 the show was managed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Around 1990 it reorganized; IBC became an independent body, owned by six “partner bodies,” the IABM, IEEE, IET, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE, and it hired a full-time staff.

In 2009, the Web page helpfully notes, “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 …” Many major U.S. broadcast equipment manufacturers will have a floor presence.

Interestingly, for the upcoming show the keynote address will be given by an American, Vincent Curren, executive vice president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Perhaps the Europeans are eager to hear the American side of government-supported media.

Of course one would be remiss in not noting the location. The first Amsterdam show was in 1992; it has been held there annually since 1994. As the NAB Show has Las Vegas, aka “Sin City,” IBC has made Amsterdam its home. And, well, Amsterdam has its own reputation, and I’m not referring to windmills, wooden shoes and a nifty art museum. IBC veterans often also remark that beer is available on the exhibition floor. Perhaps what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam … unless it winds up on YouTube. Send clips to

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