From Sept. 11-14, broadcast and cable media tech companies from across the globe were set to attend IBC2020 in Amsterdam, perhaps the world’s second-biggest gathering after the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Alas, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the Netherlands confab. It’s now official: a virtual event will be had.
In a statement distributed Monday afternoon CET, IBC CEO Michael Crimp said the IBC team had been focused on assessing and developing appropriate plans for IBC2020 this September at the RAI Amsterdam.
“Within these plans it is crucial that IBC can deliver a safe and successful environment,” Crimp said. “However, as governments announce the route forward, it has become clear that a return to (a new) normal is unlikely to be achieved by September.”
Crimp continued, “It has also become evident, through our dialogue with the IBC community, that an early decision is preferential for the industry so it can plan for the future. Right now, despite the best work of the IBC team and our Dutch colleagues, there are still many unknowns. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC.”
It is also evident, Crimp added, that important aspects of a large-scale event such as IBC will be greatly altered by social distancing, travel restrictions, and face masks — “so much so that the spirit of IBC will be compromised.”
While a virtual show is in the works, little details are known at this time.
“Over the coming months IBC will continue to engage with the industry through its digital platform IBC365,” Crimp said. “Details of our plans will follow soon.”
The decision to cancel IBC2020 came following high-profile pullouts from Panasonic and Ross in recent weeks.