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3 - 6 December 2021

Innovation Awards


View the Innovation Awards Shortlist

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There are three categories in the Innovation Awards:

  • Content Creation: Whatever the size of the screen, wherever they are, audiences want great content. This award recognises projects that give creative talent the tools they need, from acquisition to post-production.
  • Content Distribution: Great content is no use if it does not reach the eyes and ears of the consumer. This award celebrates the best new ways to manage content and connect creators and consumers, or creators and their collaborators.
  • Content Everywhere: Consumers need to be engaged wherever they are, whatever device is to hand. This award celebrates the connected experience – it might be an app, a delivery strategy or the internet of things - using technology to engage and excite audiences.

Guidelines for entering

To be in with a chance of winning an Innovation Award, please make sure you check these guidelines carefully before completing your entry:

  • The Innovation Awards are NOT product awards. Nominations for new technology or products without an end user will be rejected at the first stage. So too will sales of standard products or services which involve no collaborative development and implementation.
  • The Innovation Awards celebrate the partnership between technology companies and their customers. Each award is presented to the end user company, but the honour is shared with their technical supporters. Technology partners will be clearly identified and promoted in marketing around the Awards shortlist and on stage at the Awards Ceremony.
  • Be clear in your entry about who the end user is, the way in which technical partners and users collaborated to develop the solution, and how the project has helped them.
  • Submission forms must reach IBC by 23:59 BST on Monday 21st June 2021 (deadline extended on 1 June). Entries can be made by either the end user or by a technology partner, or by a company’s PR agency, provided all parties are happy for the project to be submitted.
  • Innovation Awards are presented to the end user. If you are entering on behalf of a supplier it is important that you discuss it with the end user before submitting the entry, and can ensure that, if you are shortlisted, representatives of the end user will be at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday 5 December 2021 at IBC. Entries without the active co-operation of the end user will not be considered.
  • A winning entry will demonstrate an innovative and imaginative solution to a real technical, creative, or commercial challenge. Your best chance of winning is to demonstrate strong collaboration between a user and technology partner. A simple, low-cost system is just as likely to win as a multi-million-dollar redevelopment project.
  • Projects can involve one technology partner or bring together many partners. The project can be led by a supplier or by an in-house team. There is space on the entry form for you to list all the technical partners.
  • There are three categories: for the most innovative project in content creation, content distribution and content everywhere systems. You will select a category for your project on the entry form, although the judges will move it to another category if they see fit.
  • Your entry should be for a system which has been implemented and is in regular use or is for a one-off event which has taken place by the time of IBC. The judges look for demonstrable success in the project, so it is unlikely that a work in progress will reach the final shortlist.
  • While the judges welcome systems which are cumulative in their success and have been developed or implemented over an extended period, perhaps even years, the pace of change in our industry means that systems which went live more than a year or so ago are unlikely to make the shortlist.
  • Your entry will be judged on the information you provide on the entry form, so make sure this is complete and compelling. You should describe the challenges faced by the user, and how the project uses innovative technology to solve them. The judges may ask for further clarification, but in general they form their opinion on what they read on the form.
  • Do not use brochure copy or other marketing-speak in your entry: the judges need to know how the team collaborated to solve this specific challenge, how successfully the project met the challenge, and the experience of the end user. Remember this is your one chance to excite the judges, so make sure you tell the full story. Reliance on brochure copy will suggest to the judges that this is simply a sale of a standard product, which does not meet the essential requirement to be a collaborative development.
  • As well as the complete description we ask you for a summary of the project challenges and success, in around 100 words.
  • To supplement your entry, you may want to supply images or a short video which shows the project and its effectiveness. These can be submitted online along with your entry. Only submit videos or images if they add to your explanation of the project: again, generic marketing material will not increase your chances of success. Remember, too, that the video and imagery is supplementary – the judges use the written form as the main source of information.
  • After the initial judging process, a shortlist of entries in each category will be announced. 
  • If your entry is on the shortlist you will receive support from IBC to help you maximise the publicity benefits in the run-up to the event. IBC will also invest in publicity featuring the shortlisted entries.
  • All the shortlisted projects will feature in the IBC Awards Ceremony, which takes place on Sunday evening during the IBC show. To build excitement in the ceremony, each shortlisted finalist must supply a one-minute video to be shown on the cinema screen in the Auditorium. The video has to tell the whole story of your project and underline its innovation. It is a good idea to start thinking now about how you will produce your video and how you can encapsulate the project in one minute.
  • If you are on the shortlist you may also want to supply additional video material which may potentially be used on the IBC website, on IBCTV and other outlets.
  • The Innovation Awards are judged by an international panel of independent industry figures. A complete list of this year’s judges can be found on the IBC website. The decisions of the judges are final.
  • Please do not contact any member of the judging panel directly, at any stage of the judging process. Any inappropriate contact may lead to disqualification from the awards, both this year and in the future. If you have any questions about the awards and how they are judged, please contact awards@ibc.org.



Exhibitors include: