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ABU DBS 2020 Starts This Week

Organizers say they are taking “necessary safety precautions” amid COVID-19 situation

The ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2020 is taking place March 2–5 at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur.

This year’s theme is “Collaborate and Innovate.” The primary role of DBS 2020, say organizers, is to “help broadcasters in the region make a smooth transition to digital broadcasting and introduce them to the latest range of technologies on the market.”

Held annually in Kuala Lumpur, DBS consists of a conference, an exhibition floor, masterclasses and workshops. In 2019, it attracted 1,254 participants from 377 organizations in 59 countries. They included 82 speakers and 60 exhibiting companies.

The organizers announced in February they would go on with the event despite the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Director of Technology & Innovation Ahmed Nadeem explained they were “monitoring the situation and following guidelines from local authorities and agencies,” and “taking all necessary safety precautions.”


He said these include working closely with Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur to ensure specific safety measures; increased disinfection across all high-volume touch points; and the availability of hand sanitizer around the event. They are also encouraging a “no-handshake policy” for attendees and say the hotel has set up a protocol for anyone feeling unwell.

This year’s event will consist of a three-day conference on March 3–5 and an exhibition floor on the same days, along with a range of workshops and masterclasses. The conference’s 12 sessions will focus on topics of strong interest to broadcasters, with speakers from the region and beyond.

The conference aims to address the ongoing challenges facing the broadcasting industry and help find solutions that will enable broadcasters to remain relevant and take informed decisions.

“The industry confronts challenges both in terms of keeping its audience and the fragility of broadcasters’ business models,” explains the ABU.

“New technologies and advanced solutions, which are fast being rolled out by tech-savvy organizations, are disrupting the usual flow of media distribution. Media consumption is becoming more and more personal and the use of digital technologies to understand the preference of audiences is key to developing an edge over the competition,” it said.

“Broadcasters need to be agile and adopt a more mediacentric approach, taking advantage of the convergence of technologies and the new digital innovations in media delivery, intelligence and business operations.”

The symposium will address challenges, suggest solutions and share experiences related to digital transition, technology implementation, creative content ideas, along with enhancing user experiences.

It will explore opportunities the changing media business can provide and find effective ways for broadcast and media organizations to collaborate and futureproof their operations.

DBS 2020 will feature a best booth award, to be decided by participants. The winner will receive a free booth in 2021.