When you think of trade shows some might consider the relevance in today's digital world where, with the click of a button, you can research the latest technology and, with another click, someone will deliver said item to your door later that day.
So on that note let's dispel the naysayers!
It’s true that shows can come and go but those that have the right formula grow in either floor space, exhibitors, visitors, content or maybe all of these in some degree or another. Those that don’t survive are the ones that don’t listen to their exhibitors or to their visitors, ignoring venues choices, durations and without often really understanding the very industry they are trying to serve.
Time is money, and the time spent visiting a trade show can cost a visitor a day++ earnings plus expenses, so there has to be significant value in attending and that value can come in a multitude of ways. Getting hands on with the kit you want to buy, chatting to the manufacturer and comparing similar technology on show, attending a seminar and learning something new or maybe networking with others and lining up that next job. The job of the show is to offer these values in the right proportion and to the right audience – not an easy ask!
We’ve picked six shows (3 UK and 3 overseas listed in calendar order) that for the sake of this article we will call the Listening Shows, they are not necessarily growing in all areas but they are strong formidable events that continue to evolve and innovate and right now are unchallenged in offering both the exhibitor and visitor great value.
BSC – 31st Jan to 1st February – Battersea Evolution Centre, London
The BSC Expo is widely recognised as one of the most International events for the film & tv production industry focusing on the art of cinematography.
Event director Rob Saunders comments “The BSC Expo is a unique event as it not only showcases the latest products and technologies it also provides an opportunity to network with some of the most creative and influential people involved in this industry. During the 2 days of the event not only can you test the products you can also attend the many seminars and presentations which this year will take place both in the BSC Expo Theatre and the Expo Forum. The theatre will once again host panel discussions and presentations from leading Cinematographers and the Forum will offer some unique technical insights. You can find out more about what you can expect to see by visiting https://www.bscexpo.com/news/ or following us on twitter @bsc_expo “
The BSC Expo is the destination for film and TV professionals. Featuring the finest in cinematography, lighting and grip equipment – can you afford to miss it?
KitPlus Show – 26th February – The Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London
KitPlus Show - 10th November – The Open Centre, MediaCityUK, Manchester
Irrespective of whether you are ‘north’ or ‘south’ if you are looking to get your hands on kit where the organisers have cut the show to the raw essentials of technology and seminar sessions then check out the KitPlus Shows. Starting in 2011 these regional shows have been going around UK media hubs such as Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and London. Predominantly one day shows they attract many leading camera, production and post production manufacturers and suppliers. Typically you’ll see around 100 brands exhibiting on KitPlus’ unique table top formula and covering the complete workflow. There’s also a great line-up of seminars to attend during the day with the full schedule online.
The KitPlus Show is returning to London on 26th February where the show will be at The Truman Brewery in Shoreditch E1 and with floor space almost sold you can expect a very buzzing show!
In November the KitPlus Show will be in MediaCityUK (Salford) for the 10th year. The first show here was back in 2011 where it was at the University of Salford, then it moved to the Pie Factory and for the last 4 years has been at the Open Centre sandwiched between BBC, ITV, Dock 10 and the University. Registration will be open in June 2020 so keep an eye out for that if you are in the North.
From an exhibitors perspective John Kelly from JVC remarks “KitPlus is a very important show as it allows us to engage with that very wide range of the production community”
With Emily from Scan commenting on the 2019 show “KitPlus has been brilliant for us this year, I think it’s been the busiest KitPlus to date, there’s been a great footfall great quality of people coming, they know what they want, they know what they are looking for so we’ve had a really good time.”
Visitors are always surprised that all the main names are at the show with also some they don’t expect as well!
CABSAT – 31st March to 2nd April- Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE.
So it might not be top of your list but CABSAT is now in its 26th edition and will be representing the most innovative content creators, producers, broadcast technology providers, satellite distribution and content delivery companies to identify the traits of success across all verticals in the Middle East, Africa & South Asia region.
Learn, Network, Identify & Be Part of MEASA region's only platform that attracts 14,000+ visitors from the Broadcast, Satellite & Content market. From engineers to marketing directors within broadcast and satellite to content buyers, sellers, producers and distributors including Radio, Audio and Film, the event brings together the entire entertainment and media community to Dubai annually.
If you’re in this region or are looking to grow in the MEASA then CABSAT is a must do show in 2020.
For more info visit: www.cabsat.com
NAB – 18th to 22nd April – Las Vegas Convention Centre, USA
NAB Show® is an unrivalled source for content professionals from all corners of the media, entertainment and technology ecosystem. Those seeking to create superior audio and visual experiences and drive listeners and viewers in larger numbers for greater reach. No matter where you fall on the content continuum—from creation to distribution, management to monetization—you’ll find a renewed path to clarity and confidence.
There’s something different about NAB for European visitors that other shows don’t have. Given the time difference and travel time then most visitors will arrive a few days before the show and this brings benefits and opportunities to attend meetings, see other clients on the west coast as well as enjoy some networking down time (aka ‘Cycling’ in the KitPlus world!). Driving from LA is only 4-5 hours and picking the historic route 66 in a convertible Mustang can be a great way to start the show and the best jet lag beater is a pre-show cycle ride to the Hoover Dam!
This year the NAB slogan is “Sunday is the new Monday”. In a nutshell the show has listened to exhibitors and visitors and moved the show forward one day to coincide with the conference program. This means it ends a day earlier so Wednesday is now the last day.
The show is massive, 4 halls each the size of airport terminals stuffed with every manufacturer you can imagine. On the show floor there are new trends being showcased featuring the crossroads of major changes in preproduction, production and post today and sessions and demos at NAB Show's newest theatre in the South (upper) Lobby Theatre.
New distribution technologies are poised to reshape entire industries. When you factor in cost, infrastructure issues, security and adoption concerns, what's actually feasible and when? These are the sort of questions NAB will answer.
Visit nabshow.com for more.
Media Production & Technology Show (MPTS) – 13th to 14th May - Olympia, London
2019 was the last year of BVE which had been held at ExCel, London since its move from Earl’s court. It is somewhat sad to see such a well-established show and brand slowly shrink to nothing but it is equally exciting to see shows grow and gain pace, which is exactly where the Media Production and Technology Show comes in!
MPTS event director Charlotte Wheeler comments “We’ve had great momentum behind the Media Production and Technology Show – where we saw a 25% increase in visitors this year (2019) and a record rebook of customers. We had already decided to expand its focus by introducing more technology-based features and floorspace and so acquiring the BVE assets has helped us to accelerate the plans we already had in place. We’ll now look to deliver the biggest UK event across production, post-production and playout. We will be the first UK show held after NAB. The show developments don’t stop there though; we are delighted to confirm that we will continue our focus for the production and post community through our exceptional free content programme and wide-ranging relevant exhibitors, but we will also bring technology to the forefront of our show in 2020.
“The UK content production market needed a show that delivers something educational for producers through to heads of technology. With SVODs now having a transformational UK presence as well as attendance at the show, we need to be reflecting the high-end technology changes that affect the large independent production companies and post houses, but also offer a range of sessions that offer practical advice and training to content creators from across the content creation spectrum” continues Charlotte.
In 2020 MPTS will extend its features to include new industry partnerships, a dedicated Technology Theatre, a DPP dedicated theatre, and a larger Broadcast Sports Theatre & Zone to reflect the growing interest in these markets.
IBC – 11th to 15th September – RAI Amsterdam, Holland
Content Everywhere, literally everywhere!
Since 1967, IBC has grown to become the most influential annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of electronic media, worldwide.
IBC has evolved from its technical broadcast roots and today it encompasses the whole breadth of media creation management and delivery, from online content to digital cinema, from automated workflows to high resolution capture and display.
IBC remains the principal event for the industry, and it continues to go from strength to strength. It now attracts more than 55,000 attendees, drawn from more than 170 countries, each September in Amsterdam.
The peer-reviewed technology conference remains the place to launch the most important new thinking. A fundamental part of the IBC Conference are the Technical Papers which sit alongside a wide-ranging programme of panels, discussions and keynotes, which have attracted not just broadcast leaders but luminaries as varied as Professor Brian Cox and will.i.am.
The conference is matched with a comprehensive exhibition which brings together close to 1,600 exhibitors, each showcasing the state of the art in technology. IBC is unrivalled as a place to meet and share knowledge, and its networking opportunities and value added events – from awards to movie screenings – really contribute to the worth of attending.