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The theme for IBC 2016 is transformation in the digital era, while IP will also be a big driver this year and will unlock a lot of sales on the show floor as manufacturers can prove a glass-to-glass workflow that works says Mike Crimp, CEO at IBC

We will be looking at leadership strategy across the media and entertainment industry, and of course talking about IP, which has been making its way into the debate for the last few years and is now picking up significant momentum.

This is the first time this has been done, and we’re pleased these companies have been lobbying us to do it at IBC; it shows that IBC is a key marker in the industry and a place where these important demonstrations can take place in the right atmosphere that engenders grown-up debate.

Virtual reality (VR) also continues to grow as a major topic for the industry. The IBC Future Zone will see leading edge technology including 360° cameras and headsets on display, while the conference has a series of VR-related speakers as part of a carefully curated programme linked to technology and content.

IBC works hard to stay on the leading edge, encouraging people to think and discuss these new technologies. We are constantly looking for ways to grow and develop the event, in terms of physical space, market segments and technological innovation. Every year we see around 100 new exhibitors, and the new hall at the RAI gives us scope to grow or reconfigure over the next two to three years. There will also be a new hotel on site from 2018, which will give exhibitors more options, and Amsterdam as a city is increasing its hotel capacity and upgrading many existing hotels. We create the extra space, but also work with exhibitors to find out how they want to grow and how we can help them to reinvent the way they exhibit. In addition we are talking to them about new markets; if they see a new opportunity to attract a new audience, we will get that audience.

I think IBC is a unique event. It’s very connected to the people that exhibit and attend and, as we move towards our 50th year in 2017, we remain willing to change and adapt to the evolving needs of the industry, and strive to be a trusted voice. It helps that we are an independent organisation; it means we’re invested in the success of the event for the good of the industry.