IBC 2020, Europe's biggest event for broadcast imaging, has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Set to take place in Amsterdam from 11-14 September, the annual International Broadcasting Convention exhibition and conference traditionally hosts some 50,000 visitors from around the globe.
"It is crucial that IBC can deliver a safe and successful environment," wrote IBC CEO Michael Crimp. "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.
"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… With that in mind and based on what we know at this point, it is with a heavy heart IBC has made the difficult decision to cancel the IBC2020 show."
Some of the biggest names in broadcast and imaging traditionally exhibit at IBC, including camera manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony and Panasonic, along with software and accessory brands like Adobe and SanDisk, and camera phone giants such as Samsung and Huawei. Some of the big products revealed at last year's show include the Rotolight Titan X2, Irix Cine 11mm T4.3 lens and Canon EOS C500 Mark II.
The IBC website states that "IBC2020 IS GOING VIRTUAL", suggesting that the event – as many others have done, when cancelled or postponed by coronavirus – will take at least some online form. However, such plans have yet to be revealed.
Michael Crimp's full statement follows:
I hope you are safe and well, as we continue to adapt to the changing world in which we find ourselves. Following on from my previous statement I wanted to give you an update on the developments and situation at IBC.
As previously outlined, the IBC team has 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. 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.
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 that important aspects of a large-scale event such as IBC will be greatly altered by social distancing, travel restrictions, masks etc. so much so that the spirit of IBC will be compromised.
With that in mind and based on what we know at this point, it is with a heavy heart IBC has made the difficult decision to cancel the IBC2020 show. You may have seen IBC and the IABM surveys on this topic. Evidence gathered from these IBC stakeholders helps to confirm this decision.
Whilst this is hugely disappointing for us all, IBC will continue to play a vital role in supporting the industry to get back on track wherever we are able.
For more than 50 years, IBC has provided the central annual meeting place for the Media, Entertainment & Technology community. For example, over the coming months IBC will continue to engage with the industry through its digital platform IBC365. Details of our plans will follow soon.
Your views continue to help shape IBC. If you have suggestions, questions or concerns regarding this decision and announcement please do not hesitate to contact us using our dedicated email address: use our dedicated email address email@example.com
My very best wishes to all of you during this time of unprecedented challenges and I look forward to welcoming you next year at IBC2021, in Amsterdam.