Evolution and IBC
1 awesome city
270 meetings for neuco
1 Plantar Fibroma (a benign growth/nodule caused by walking for extending periods)
1 Pack of flamingos
And a few G&Ts along the way…
For many people, IBC has been a fixed date in the diary for at least the last decade, if not two. However, 2019 marked my first IBC and above you can see the core statistics that sum up the three days I spent in Amsterdam. As we all know though, statistics only tell half the story...
If I had to pick one word to describe IBC 2019 it would be: EVOLUTION, in particular within three areas:
You don’t have to have spend long in the industry to appreciate that there has been significant disruption, upheaval and change in recent years. You only have to look briefly at the changes in which people consume content to realise that alone, has caused wide reaching after-shocks throughout the industry. I am sure that there will be more changes and consolidation to come, however parallel to the uncertainty are exciting developments, new pioneering approaches and innovative companies both piggy-backing off the giants such as AWS, Google and Facebook; and forging their own way through the Broadcasting Technological Jungle.
You have 5G entering as a game changer into the sporting arena and providing high quality coverage, Cloud, AI and IP are strongly driving both Broadcast and Media technology, which is forcing companies to seek out a new level of digital speed, traditional green screens are being replaced with an immersive video environment such as the SmartStage technology provided by White Light, companies such as PHABRIX are showcasing leading ST 2110 equipment with extraordinary capabilities and it seems that after it’s disruptive invasion, the dust has settled after the arrival of OTT, which is now escalating and accelerating streaming services as they adapt to accommodate it.
Two acronyms thrown about regularly are B2B and B2C, especially at IBC. However, as I discussed over a G&T (or two) one evening at the NewTec party, the reality is that we work in a P2P business. P, standing for People. Unlike many of my contemporaries I am a-typical in that I do not use social media: Facebook or Instagram etc in my private life. My friends and family know that if they want to hear my news, they need to pick up the phone or have a coffee with me. However, it was so apparent being at IBC for the first time that nothing is more powerful, beneficial, or valuable than a face to face interaction. To look somebody in the eyes and shake their hand takes relationships and consequently business to a whole new level. I wish that we could find ways to do this more, to talk as people and not through technology - as good as the technology is! In a world that is enhanced and that benefits from the speed of technology, I strongly believe the one thing you cannot accelerate is the development of a relationship. And relationship is best nurtured in real time, personal interactions.
At one point during the show, I had to queue for the toilet! Now you may ask why this is so significant and worthwhile of a mention, but in that toilet queue I found myself in the middle of a celebration with the other women. The lady in-front of me turned and said, “How amazing is this - I have never had to queue at one of these shows before - times are changing!” We laughed about it and carried on with our days, nonetheless I believe this to be truly significant. Yes, as a woman you arrive to a sea of men in suits, yes this is intimidating and unfortunately, I still received an inappropriate, offensive comment about my gender, which is not ok. BUT it seems that the Broadcasting world is starting to reflect more diversity - this is worth noting as it comes hard won, with companies working hard to actively increase diversity and organisations such as Rise presenting awards to Women in Broadcast. Step by step we are moving forwards. And on a side-note, ladies - I’d love to know, after seriously blistering my feed (even in flats!) how do you manage to find suitable, stylish business footwear? I am seriously considering trainers next year… thoughts?!
Evolution is my word for IBC. Like any evolution, the process can be slow, unexpected, painful and turbulent. There can be many random mutations which can be complex. In a competitive market, technology has had to evolve, be more innovative than ever and advance quickly.
The industry that we work in needs to maintain a P2P ethos, we cannot forget that within all the glamour of exciting advances, we are nothing without strong relationships. And finally, we can celebrate that equality has advanced, which is only a good thing, my hope is that like the effects of OTT arriving in the industry, diversity will continue to accelerate at a lightening quick pace.