IBC 2021 is set to go ahead as planned in September, with organizers saying they are focused on delivering “a fantastic event” at the RAI in Amsterdam as well as online.
However, the fallback dates for December are still in place, and the organizers said they’d provide an update on that in June. They are asking the industry to keep their options open for both possible sets of dates.
The current dates for the show are Sept. 10–13 with the fallback option of Dec.3–6.
IBC CEO Michael Crimp said organizers realize this year’s show might be the first large-scale event many people have attended in a long time, and the team is putting lots of planning into that. They are working closely with the city of Amsterdam and the RAI, monitoring changes as they evolve.
“The industry is telling us that people are keen to come together again after being apart for a long time. In the coming months, a number of factors will help us decide when the event can happen and in what format. From macro trends such as vaccine roll out and testing, to the willingness of our attendees to travel, we will take all things into consideration as we make those important decisions,” he added.
IBC said it is budgeting for exhibition space to be about 30% less than in 2019, with the two pavilions not being used in 2021.
This year’s event will have more of a festival feel, said Crimp, with a large perimeter to the site that will enable attendees to move around more freely. Attendees will have their temperatures checked before entering the perimeter and will need to declare that they have recently passed a COVID test.
There will be no physical onsite registration for people who have not preregistered, though anyone with a mobile device will still be able to register at the time.
Inside, halls will have extra wide aisles and one-way traffic for ease of access. IBC intends to use cameras to monitor capacity in each hall. Each exhibitor will be told of their stand capacity, with attendees being scanned-in and out to monitor numbers.
The organizers also are asking that all marketing materials be provided digitally — in other words, no paper literature to hand out.
Steve Connolly, head of sales at IBC, said support from the industry continues to be strong, with 30,000-sq. foot of booth space booked so far.
IBC will also run a digital platform for exhibitors alongside the physical event to enable them to promote products and book digital meetings.