Suriving IBC


Larry Jordan# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Larry Jordan
Issue 93 - September 2014

I long ago lost count of the number of trade shows I’ve attended -- it runs into the hundreds. From small table-top affairs to massive shows like IBC, NAB, CES, and many others now long forgotten, I’ve attended shows, exhibited at shows, and covered shows as press.

In this article, I want to share my experiences on how to make the most of attending a trade show.

GOAL

Your goal in attending any trade show is not to prove how fast you can walk the fl oor, but to learn what’s new in the industry. Even more importantly, you need to learn what you don’t know. Trade shows like IBC are the perfect location to see an entire industry all in one place. They allow you to discover new trends or new technology that will drive the industry in coming months.

GET READY

Wear comfy shoes. IBC is huge beyond words. You are going to do a LOT of walking. It is impossible to have a good time if your feet hurt. Since the media world has completely redefi ned the concept of casual dress, no one will think less of you based on your shoe style.

And as a note for those of you who have been living solo inside an editing suite for too long, booth staff would be very grateful if you wore a clean shirt and took a bath before arriving.

PLAN

IBC is vast. If you’ve never attended before you can’t begin to imagine how big it is. The best way to maximize your time is to visit the IBC website - http://www.ibc.org - click the Visitors tab and fi gure out the key events and vendors you want to see. Allow extra time to move between booths. The crowds are big, too, and rapid movement is impossible. Plan your sightseeing route.

WHERE TO LOOK

Certainly, the huge booths at the front of the hall deserve your attention. They are showcasing the technology that all of us have heard of, with very slick stage demos featuring professional presenters, and some very cool toys on display.

However, once you complete your “must see” list, its time for serendipity to kick in. The exciting parts of any trade show, for me, are around the edges. These are the folks with great ideas and no budget, who have pooled all their credit cards and bet the ranch that they have a new idea for the industry.

These are the booths that are fi lled with passion, commitment and hope. They are hidden at the edges, in the small corners, sandwiched between the “big boys.” These are the places where you need to spend time.

ASK QUESTIONS

While it may seem cool to stroll the hall, seeing all and asking nothing, this is really a dumb way to work. Every exhibitor has mortgaged their crown jewels to pay for their booth. They are eager for people to talk with about their cool products and ideas. So, unless the booth is swarming with people, stop and ask questions, even if you don’t know what they do. I used to take great pride in “showing how smart I was.” This meant that in many trade show conversations I needed to prove that I knew a lot. As I grew older, I realized that this actually got in the way of my learning.

Your knowledge of the industry will come out in the questions you ask and your understanding of what the booth staff is saying. I’ve learned far more from being humble than from being arrogant. In fact, I generally start most of my booth conversations with “Assume I don’t know very much.” You’d be surprised at how happy the booth staff are to help you understand what you don’t know.

There are two types of questions I ask: one for booths presenting products or technology that I don’t understand, and a second set for booths with products that I either know or use.

If I see a booth with something in it that I’ve never heard about, or in a part of the industry that I don’t normally work, I’ll ask the following questions:

1. I’m not likely to be a customer for this, but I haven’t seen this before. In brief, what is it?

2. Why is this product or technology necessary?

3. Who are potential customers?

In three questions and about two minutes of your time, you’ll learn about a new section of the market with an overview of products specifically designed for it. I have been amazed, over the years, how often I used this information shortly after attending a show.

I once had an outstanding conversation with a rep from a company that makes broadcast television towers; those metal things that stick up thousands of feet in the air. There was NO WAY I was ever going to buy or build one, but I was curious about how they were constructed. What I learned was so interesting that I now tell it as a story in my classes whenever my students need a break from learning about software.

For booths that contain products or services that I either use or know, my questions are different:

- What are you showing that’s new?

- Why did you decide these new features are necessary?

- What parts of the industry/market are hot right now?

- What has surprised you in how your products are being used?

- What features in your product do you think are the least used or the least understood?

I’m a big fan of “Why” and “What” questions because the answers I get often help me get a better understanding of areas of the market that I may not understand fully.

SUMMARY

Use trade shows as an opportunity to discover parts of the industry you don’t know well. Ask questions. Engage in conversations with companies you’ve never met before. You’ll be surprised how often what you learn can be applied in ways that you never expect.


Tags: iss093 | IBC | Larry Jordan#
Submitted by Larry Jordan# Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Submitted by Jon Ridel Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Tags: iss125 | calrec | live production | pac-12 | artemis | Ian Cookson - new
Submitted by Ian Cookson - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A Bluffer Guide to....CMOS
Mike Colyer I like to break my employers' cameras. For me, there is nothing more exciting than considering a daring location to install a micro camera system. It could be in a trackside breaking board at a motorsport event (culminating in slightly-too-extreme close up of, say, a Porsche bumper) - or a system installed a tad too high up a tree in a jungle (where a direct lightning strike can push the system somewhat over its 12 volt max). Thanks to modern CMOS camera design, however, not only can this be done safely (unless you are a camera) - but it can be done cheaply, often with impressive results.
Tags: iss125 | cmos | bluffers guide | ccd | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Is everyone a journalist these days
Rene Morch Today's content consumers have endless viewing and streaming possibilities thanks to the advent of smart phones and tablets that allow them to watch pretty much anything they want, on the go, and away from the confines of a television screen.
Tags: iss125 | dpa | microphone | dvice | Rene Morch
Submitted by Rene Morch Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Can university really set you up?
Jess Sutton When deciding what career you want to go into and which University to go to, there are so many questions that go through your head. I know when I first started considering University, my grades just weren't good enough. I knew which undergraduate course I wanted to do, but I still had a way to go.
Tags: iss125 | university | portsmouth | Jess Sutton
Submitted by Jess Sutton Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Motor Sports - Some Like it Hot
Gordon Capaccio High performance race cars, their drivers, and teams supported by manufacturers participating in a sport for which the combined, visceral thrills and sensations of burning tires, megadecibel roars, pungent racing fuel and throngs of enthusiasts can be difficult to convey, even on the largest big screen television.
Tags: iss124 | motorsport | 3g wireless | imsa | rolex 24 | domo | dtc | prorxd | diversity rf | Gordon Capaccio
Submitted by Gordon Capaccio Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Modernizing the Cutting Edge
Myles Carter - new Over the last decade, streaming as a medium has seen tremendous growth. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are no longer just post-hoc distributors of broadcast television content, they have become content creators and are producing some of the most well received "television" content of the past few years.
Tags: iss124 | matrox | ip | h.264 | h.265 | streaming | Myles Carter - new
Submitted by Myles Carter - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Navigating Unfamiliar Territory
Vijay Sagar Vinnakota The traditional broadcast model - where TV networks play content on a linear schedule, and viewers tune in on their TV sets - is under siege. Linear TV is not going away anytime soon, but the model is becoming less and less relevant. Thanks to the rise of OTT services, viewers have become accustomed to watching content when and where they want, on just about any device with an internet connection. For that reason, broadcasters must add an OTT component to their offerings.
Tags: iss124 | cloud | amagi | ott | hls | rtmp | mpeg-dash | yupp tv | netflix | amazon prime | sling tv | Vijay Sagar Vinnakota
Submitted by Vijay Sagar Vinnakota Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why is drone training even an option
Tim Bearder It's fair to say that one of the most disruptive, liberating and inventive technological advances for independent filmmakers in recent years has been the incredible leaps made in the world of Drones.
Tags: iss124 | caa | drone | drone training | drone academy | Tim Bearder
Submitted by Tim Bearder Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr MXF does Vegas
Bruce Devlin - new For quarter of a century I have been boarding planes to Las Vegas every April and the thing I look forward to most is the Sunday morning cycle from the Strip up to the top of Red Rock Canyon to look back down upon Vegas. From up there, you get a sense of perspective of how alien the city stuck in the desert really is.
Tags: iss124 | nab | mrmxf | cloud | ptp | imf | ip | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Designing the correct workflow
Harry Smith Last year I took a year-long placement as a video editing support technician. The role exposed me to the common issues that students run into when editing their projects, and I developed an understanding as to why they might struggle understanding the complexities of video workflow.
Tags: iss124 | portsmouth | tvfutures | ccitv | post production | Harry Smith
Submitted by Harry Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Controlling the Chaos of Remote Uplinks
Roger Franklin For Satellite Broadcasters, consumer needs have never been so varied. Audiences are increasingly accustomed to personalisation in every type of content they consume. They now demand, or rather expect to receive breaking news from a scene, content specific to their regions and access to live sporting events held thousands of miles away.
Tags: iss124 | uplink | satellite broadcast | crystal | Roger Franklin
Submitted by Roger Franklin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Thinking clearly about the cloud
Chris Steel 2 As someone who is constantly trying to build better products, I'm always asking questions and listening to the ones I get asked. For several years now I've asked every broadcaster and media production company I've met what they plan to do about 'the cloud'
Tags: iss124 | cloud | marquis | archive | network | Chris Steel 2
Submitted by Chris Steel 2 Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls
Paul Scurrell How do you make a polished television show worthy of broadcast on Channel 4 when the camera operators are starving, dehydrated and sleep deprived? Most of them also have no previous experience of professional filming and are more concerned with finding their next meal than making sure they've got their cameras switched on ready to record. Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls.
Tags: iss124 | bear grylls | channel 4 | gopro | timecode | sync | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Masters of Dirt - Extreme Production
Rian Bester On 22nd April 2017 Inside the Masters of Dirt, the world's wildest unscripted motocross reality series, will launch exclusively on INSIGHT TV in 4K UHD. Produced by Masters Of Dirt (M.O.D) and XTreme Video, the series follows the adrenaline-addicted crew that produces the popular freestyle motocross arena show of the same name.
Tags: iss124 | insight | masters of dirt | motocross | freestyle | fs700 | sony fs700 | 4k | uhd | Rian Bester
Submitted by Rian Bester Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Is now the time to compromise on investment
Mike Ransome - new It would seem on the face of it that many broadcasters and production companies are trimming spending to the bone, or at least postponing it in anticipation of more lucrative days to come.
Tags: iss124 | investment | presteigne broadcast hire | 4k | eng | Mike Ransome - new
Submitted by Mike Ransome - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Dick brings out his cutting room scales
Dick Hobbs - new At this time of year, in the run-up to NAB, my in-box is even more filled than usual with press releases craving my attention. It is one of the universal truths so unloved by PR people that the sheer weight of numbers threatens to overwhelm.
Tags: iss124 | cutting room | nab | kpmp | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
You need wave power if you are going surfing
Tim Bonython Tim Bonython's association with surfing films began in 1978, when armed with a Super-8 camera he set off to Hawaii's infamous North Shore, to capture the big waves and their riders. From that moment he fell in love with the sport, and became obsessed with making it the subject of breathtaking and inspiring films.
Tags: iss124 | surfing | red scarlet weapon | red brick | pag | battery | paglink system | 153wh | Tim Bonython
Submitted by Tim Bonython Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel from Blackmagic Design - Reviewed
Rebecca Goodeve - new Blackmagic's new, more affordable control surface for professionals is probably the most perfect panel I've ever used......
Tags: iss123 | blackmagic design | minipanel | davinci | grading | Rebecca Goodeve - new
Submitted by Rebecca Goodeve - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr Cloud, as much about cashflow balance as technology
Bruce Devlin - new It was an ordinary Tuesday, the last day of February 2017. It was getting late in the day and I was online doing my monthly management accounts and was just finishing the data entry for a very long Invoice when refreshing the expenses Tab on my browser showed this delightful picture.
Tags: iss123 | cloud | mrmxf | aws | amazon web services | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine