Default Image

No content here.

IBC Manifesto 2022


This manifesto is based on feedback from three primary sources.

  • The IABM feedback from exhibitors.
  • Feedback from exhibitor interviews conducted by IBC’s independent exhibition chairman Roger Thornton.
  • Feedback from other IBC stakeholders, including the IBC Partnership Board.


On November 16th, 2021, IBC announced that its December event in Amsterdam was going ahead. This position was communicated based on the advice from The City of Amsterdam, which said that IBC had created a safe environment, that shows were still being held at the RAI, and that the Dutch government’s circuit breaker restrictions should enable the show to go ahead. IBC also had industry survey evidence and registration figures to expect a good level of visitor attendance.

Sadly, the situation with COVID accelerated and on November 23rd, IBC announced the show was cancelled. This late cancellation led to exhibitors incurring unrecoverable costs.

It has become clear that IBC’s actions and position did not resonate with the industry, especially exhibitors. Perhaps the only mitigation worth repeating is the speed of the deterioration of the macro situation.

IBC recognises the emotional and financial pain the circumstances of 2021 created. There is a strong feeling that IBC’s communications and approach were detached from exhibitor sentiment, and we are extremely sorry about this.

The feedback we have received is summarised below:

Key Findings

  • The decision-making process was unclear to exhibitors, and this needs fixing.
  • Going forward, IBC’s consultation with exhibitors and the wider market requires more diligence and structure.
  • A stronger plan for points 1 & 2 would have resulted in an earlier cancellation and may have mitigated losses.
  • The IBC refund policy is seen to be harsh and needs reconsideration for 2022.
  • The “by the industry, for the industry” position has become less evident. The value the IBC owners derive from IBC and the massive contribution these organisations make to the industry need to be brought centre stage.
  • There is criticism of IBC Digital, particularly the inability of exhibitors to reach out for meetings with registered visitors.
  • There is an opportunity to ‘reimagine IBC’ not only for an adjusted Covid era, but also to address environmental concerns and drive more diversity in the media technology industry.

Having said all this, our research shows a clear willingness from exhibitors and the rest of the industry to work with IBC to stage a solid and valuable event in 2022, and we are very grateful for that.

Success Factors & Action Plan

In order to address the above factors, we are putting in place a number of new processes to create a more inclusive environment for IBC’s operations and decision-making processes.

COVID Advisory Group

IBC has reviewed its process and communications plan in the lead-up to IBC2022. As a result, IBC has worked with the industry to create a new COVID Advisory Group. This group will convene regularly in the lead-up to the event. Its role is to ensure that IBC remains in touch and is empathetic with the market situation. This group will be closely attached to the IABM, effectively raising the influence of the exhibitor community in IBC’s planning scenarios.

The group will focus on an agreed set of metrics and use their experience and judgement to help IBC navigate a crisis. Initial suggested metrics include: 

  • Macro data related to the crisis (e.g., Covid stats)
  • An IABM exhibitor survey
  • IBC direct client feedback
  • Their own network

This will be communicated to the industry along with a timeline of key decision dates. The group will meet and report on May 2, May 30, July 1, August 1, August 8, August 15 and August 22. The group will convene more regularly as required by the macro circumstances. A summary of the meeting and recommendations will be published here.

The current group members are: 

  • EVS – Nicolas Bourdon, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Grass Valley – Neil Maycock, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Rohde & Schwarz- Ciaran Doran, Director of Marketing
  • IABM (representing the industry in general and smaller exhibitors in particular) – Peter White, CEO

Refund Policy

  • Since the cancellation of IBC2020 and 21, IBC has reviewed every aspect of its costs to ensure it is delivering value for exhibitors and visitors. For example, IBC has ended its central London office lease and the team is working remotely.
  • Taking a ‘back to basics’ approach as the industry recovers, IBC has removed a number of show features, (Big Screen, Awards ceremony, Future Zone, Companions Programme, etc). IBC’s digital activities have also been reviewed.
  • As a result, IBC is able to significantly enhance its current IBC terms and conditions should IBC be cancelled. Each exhibitor will receive a communication containing the details of this change.

By The Industry, For the Industry

  • Since 1967, the unique structure of IBC means that IBC is owned and run by the industry it serves.
  • IBC’s owners are IABM, IEEE, IET, Royal Television Society, SCTE and SMPTE.
  • The media and entertainment industry has benefited immensely from the activities of IBC’s owners, which are in part funded by the income the owners receive from IBC. This includes a wide range of thought-leadership, spanning the development of technical standards, training, advocacy, etc., through to diversity and inclusion. 
  • IBC thanks the industry for its ongoing support over this pandemic period and will help to protect this good work for the future. IBC is aware that all this good work is not always visible, and so we will be promoting this more widely in the future.

The Future of Events

  • Looking forward, IBC’s conversations with the industry show that exhibitors continue to value IBC and are willing to work towards a positive future. Working with the IABM, IBC will engage with exhibitors to explore the future shape of trade shows in our industry.
  • This project will run through 2022 and will involve extensive research and consultation. 
  • In the short term, IBC will recognise this potential change by offering a range of exhibiting packages that allow a greater option than just free design or shell. In fact, these options already exist and have had some success.

An Ongoing Commitment

IBC does not underestimate the damage caused by the late cancellation of IBC2021. We are committed to working hard to repair and rebuild our relationship with the industry. We hope you agree that these new initiatives provide a solid platform for the future.