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IBC Attendance Sets New Record

Numbers show a four percent increase over last year.

AMSTERDAM: By 1600 hours on Tuesday, 50,462 people had attended IBC, a new record and a rise of 4 percent over 2010, organizers of the trade show said today. Last year’s show drew 48,164 people, up 6 percent from 2009, when 45,547 attended. Until this year, the most-attended show was in 2008, when 49,250 people make the trek to Amsterdam. IBC did not give registration figures, which typically exceed attendance figures.

“Everyone knows that the industry is changing,” said Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC. “Audiences are being pulled in different directions, by immersive experiences like 3D and by multi-platform content as consumers use tablets and smartphones even while they are watching television. Media companies need to be agile to remain commercially viable, so they need to make intelligent use of technology.”

IBC this year featured more than 1,300 exhibitors in 13 halls, making it the largest ever in terms of display space. Deals worth $20 million or more were signed at the show.

As in past years, the conference was built around four streams: Added Value, Technological Advancements, Content Creation and Innovation and the Business of Broadcasting. The last brought in many people to IBC for the first time, according to organizers. The European Digital Cinema Forum and SCTE also held open meetings in association with the show.

A new venture in 2011 was the IBC Leaders ’ Summit. CEOs from the leading media enterprises around Europe and the Middle East spent two days behind closed doors, discussing the business challenges for the future, and how media companies must evolve to meet them. It received a strong reception from the delegates, and the intention is that it will grow into a continuing ‘executive club,’ providing the platform for informal discussions throughout the year as well as coming together at IBC.

IBC Awards this year went to CNBC, CNN and DNA in Finland. Yukihiro Nishida, senior research engineer collected the IBC2011 Best Conference Paper Award on behalf of a group of colleagues at NHK, and Exhibition Design Awards went to Phabrix, Tangent Wave and Christie.

Sir David Attenborough was awarded IBC’s highest accolade, the International Honour for Excellence. He started in black-and-white television on 16mm film, and throughout his career he pushed forward the use of new technology, from color to low-light cameras, and from HD to 3D. His most recent program, “Flying Monsters 3D,” received the Special Award which went to its producers, Atlantic Productions.

By comparison, the April NAB show in Las Vegas drew 92,708 this year; 88,044 last year and 82,650 in 2009. The January Consumer Electronics Show, also in Vegas, drew 140,000 this year; 120,000 in 2010 and 113,085 in 2009.

~ Deborah D. McAdams, Television Broadcast