Ok, so you’re going to IBC, or potentially already there depending on when you’re reading this. Either way, whether you’re going or already there or not going at all, we hope we can help with your process what to see and what to look out for. In a nutshell, how to get the best out of IBC.

Here are some tips that I have learned whilst attending IBC – If you are staying overnight in Amsterdam then be sure to collect your free tram pass. This is available to all attendees and saves money on taxis. But this isn’t a tour guide for Amsterdam so what to do and see when actually in the RAI exhibition centre where IBC takes place?
Well, traditionally Sony always have their own exclusive space in Hall 13. They are the kings of all broadcast equipment (including switchers, TX monitors, PTZ cameras and pretty much everything else) but it’s not hard to find exactly what you’re looking for in terms of camera stock and they will be no doubt showcasing the Venice and I’m sure you are welcome to have a play with it. At the time of writing, Sony haven’t announced product launches for IBC but don’t be surprised if something is announced. The Sony FS7 was announced at IBC, and so was the Venice too, so Sony do have form for prioritising IBC.

Canon tend to save their highlights for NAB, which is annually held in Las Vegas, but just because there might not be anything ‘new’ does not mean you shouldn’t have a look at what they have. Their stand is always impressive and, like visiting Sony, no trip to IBC is complete without stopping by with eyes wide open because YOU WILL find something that will get the creative juices flowing.
As well as those big hitters you have to visit the following: Panasonic, Atomos, Blackmagic Design, Fuji, Vitec Group, DJI, Freefly and of course Arri (apologies if I’ve missed anyone).
These are musts but if you’re only going for the weekend or a short time, or only even one day, constantly check your watch as all of the stands I’ve just mentioned are incredibly busy and will take around half-hour per stand just to see what you want to see. If you spend too much time on just the big companies you may miss out on those that offer products and gadgets that will either dig you out of holes on location OR offer something that you’ve always thought “wouldn’t it be good if someone made ‘this’ to help me with ‘that’” but who are they? And where are they?
If it helps, and I’m basing my next point that you are only interested in cameras, lighting and accessories, then if time is tight for you then you’re probably going to want to avoid halls 1-6 (Blackmagic are in hall 7 by the way) as most of these halls are, for the most part, post production, media management and delivery. There are lots of cool things to find all over and I’m only saying ‘avoid’ if you are tight for time. Otherwise go and have a look!

If you want to have a peek at what’s coming eventually, then check out hall 8, The ‘IBC Future Zone’. It’s not likely that you’ll see anything that you’re going to use in the next year (or 5) but, I saw 8K cameras for the first time at IBC in 2009 and back then they were the size of a Fiat 500 and VERY experimental. The last time I saw 8K cameras last year, they were small enough to hold in one hand but attached via fibre to powerful encoders. This year I expect it will be something like an FS7 or C300 all recording within the camera body. Plus they’ll probably be able to automatically be able to send live feeds from an internal 5G data generator straight to TV channels bypassing satellites altogether.
In any case, a trip to the ‘Future Zone’ at the very least offers you the chance to say to others “well I’ve seen this 12K camera that’s in a prototype stage…” and if nothing else it makes YOU feel you know what’s coming, whether any of its gets made for use or not (trust me, I’ve been trading my 8K camera stories for some time now!).

And finally, enjoy it! It’s the biggest of its kind in Europe and it’s in one of the most beautiful, carefree and diverse cities in the world! All there to enjoy friends so make sure you do!
Of course, there will be a comprehensive review of IBC in our next issue so if you haven’t made it there then do not worry, we will always keep you updated with all the latest news.
Ga en geniet ervan!