In the line of business I work in, TV Satellite Broadcasting, a trade show (IBC 2011) is held each year in Amsterdam in early September to showcase the latest technology plus good opportunity to meet old friends and get drunk !
It is held in the RAI exhibition halls near Amsterdam Airport, similar to the Friedrichshafen, Germany Messe (Ham Radio shows) with 13 huge halls packed with everything you cannot afford to do with broadcasting in all its forms. There tends to be a common factor in all these shows i.e. a mix of technical people who know what they are talking about but bore the pants off you and scantily clad ladies who know nothing about the kit but draw you in so that the techie people can pounce !
The sheer amount of money spent on stands is amazing given the austerity we are living in and the visitor has the onerous task of having to partake of various hospitality whilst listening to some over eager salesman droning on about some new technology you are not really interested in but were drawn to his stand by the eye candy and booze on offer !
The stand above is one of those that I could not get far enough away from to get all in picture, 40m * 40m with two floors, enough flat screens to make Comet jealous all for five days of an exhibition.
For those who have been to Friedrichshafen Ham Radio and looked longingly at Luso Towers and 5KW amplifiers, small beer. I could have bought a 350m tower and 1MW amplifier to with it although not sure how much of my road I would have to demolish to install it !
So what was hot this year ? Unlike like last year, 3D TV was in the minority. Yes, with the £20K monitors they were using it looked amazing but hassle with glasses, poor viewing angles, 3D TV has not taken off. What is very much on show is IPTV in all its forms with SONY offering a deal on its mobile offering. If you bought two Land Rover Discovery’s fully kitted out for mobile IP transmission, they will give you a third Discovery unfitted for free ! Now that’s what I call a ’3 for 2′ offer although a little pricey for me !
So what else? Well every video and stills camera you could imagine, monitors, projectors, satellite transmissions systems including the satellite itself ! In other words everything – but you just need incredibly deep pockets. So a few pictures below showing the lengths they went to showcase the kit.
If you had to buy food, I have to say that this was not the same standard at Friedrichshafen and expensive; so the ploy was to trade the boring sales talk against free hospitality !
If things got to tiring then the show also setup a beach area where you could go and relax and to tempt you their they paid for bikini clad girls to play beach volleyball or just lounge around on deckchairs, as you probably guess a very male orientated business not too many ladies on the technical side. They have what they call a pub with at least some reasonable beers on offer so chance to rest weary legs for a jar or three.
Outside show hours, you had to partake in the various hospitality events in Amsterdam which normally ended up with far too much drink and complete loss of where you were and how to get back to the hotel for an hour or so of sleep before repeating the whole exercise again.
Once the show is finished, and the liver has recovered, plans are made to attend the American version held in Las Vegas in April which is even more over the top given the venue but beats working !