In a statement released Monday morning, IBC CEO Michael Crimp said that as governments unveil recovery plans, “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,” said Crimp. “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.”
Crimp highlighted that IBC could be “greatly altered” by social distancing, travel restrictions and masks, which would ultimately compromise “the spirit” of the event.
IBC had been due to run at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre from Sept. 11-14. Coupled with the cancellation of NAB, which was set to take place in Las Vegas in April, the industry will be without two of its biggest media and tech conferences of the year.
IBC was founded in 1967 as a small broadcast showcase and has grown over the years into a global event encompassing electronic media, entertainment technology and content production. The show has drawn high-calibre guests in recent years, with Andy Serkis presented with IBC’s International Honour for Excellence in 2019 and delivering a keynote speech (pictured).
A virtual event via the conference’s digital platform IBC365 is expected to take the place of the September conference. Details are to be announced in the coming months.