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Looking Ahead To BVE 2018

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Organising a trade show is a year-round project with a dedicated team working hard to stay on top of what's new for the industry. Here, the team behind BVE 2018 tells us what goes into the planning of one of the UK's top broadcast events...

BFV: Keeping your finger on the pulse in this industry is not an easy task. Does this make it difficult to confirm a Seminar programme for BVE 2018?
BVE: With over 8,000 people visiting the seminar theatres last year, we often find ourselves faced with the challenge of ensuring we are doing the right thing for our audiences. With content being a main focus for our visitors, we have invested internally in our BVE content team, who are in constant contact with visitors and industry leaders year-round to ensure that we are always on top of what's new for the industry, and that we are giving insight and discussions on the stages that really help to solve immediate challenges. This year we will conduct research with over 250 industry professionals, giving us a wealth of ideas to work with. It also gives us the confidence to do what our audience really see value in. Perhaps the most challenging part of the seminar production is making a judgement call on what to leave out. The second biggest challenge is working with industry leaders and their schedules, to make sure they get to BVE on time.

VR, IP & AI are all hot topics at the moment. In your opinion will they be the big trends shaping the show next year?
It's always difficult to look into our magic ball and predict how todays trends translate into the commercialised technology of tomorrow. It's always a balancing act to showcase the latest technologies and ideas – without losing touch with the practical elements of BVE that are vital to our audience.

Last year we were hearing a lot about VR, and we still are, however this year Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are more prevalent in discussions. Last year it was all about inspiring what's possible; now it's about making that viewing experience possible for all.

When we look AI, it's coming up in all areas of our research, and the question is what does AI mean to different parts of the BVE community. Are they looking at AI in the context of commissioning decisions? Intelligent content aggregation? Versioning? Post production automation? There are some interesting research programmes surrounding AI for our industry that could be commercialised very quickly. AI is an area that could go anywhere and is likely to be a game changer and the question seems to be, to what scale?

IP is of course still on everyone's mind. Once a niche topic discussed in silo, now very much a part of mainstream discussion, it will feature throughout the show, and predominantly through our co-located event, Connected Media Europe – a signature destination to demonstrate and discuss IP-focused technology including IPTV, OTT, mobile, social, and cloud.

The numbers of exhibitions, conferences and roadshows have seemingly increased significantly in the last few years, has this made your job more difficult or is it just an indicator for a growing market?
A competitive marketplace is always a good sign that an industry is in good shape. And with an industry as increasingly diverse as ours, it is only natural that events will appear (and in some cases disappear) to satisfy both the demands of niche sectors as well as those 'broader' events for the various converging markets we're now seeing. With formally traditional products and services now being used in non-traditional markets, this means getting the balance right is more important than ever. Giving your customers enough of the new stuff whilst protecting the core of the event is key and care needs to be taken to ensure you don't dilute what originally made it a success. The most important thing to recognise as an event organiser in a crowded calendar is that your event must have a unique profile and offer visitors and exhibitors something they can't get anywhere else, whether that's a specific mix of attendees or a stellar, free-to-attend seminar programme.

For such a global industry, BVE is still very relevant in the broadcast calendar. How do you ensure that a UK-specific show remains a must-attend event with larger, more international shows happening throughout the year?
The UK is – and will continue to be – a major player, both in the traditional world of broadcast and production and in the new, all-encompassing world of media & entertainment. Given the incredible work being done in here in the UK across TV, Film, Live, all with world class exports, we also see countless tech start-ups as well as a burgeoning creative community, so it is only right that there is an event to match. BVE is a platform which showcases this talent and allows its community to come together and further advance our industry through thought-provoking ideas and ground-breaking innovations.

Can you provide us with any subtle hints on the main attractions for the show next year?
It's early days to share specifics and with our marketing campaign kicking off very soon, I wouldn't want to steal the limelight from the multitude of press releases that are on the horizon. Having said that, expect new show floor features, new educational content, and even new events which will offer new opportunities for the technical, business and creative communities to come together and collaborate.

If you could have anyone you wanted speaking at the event, who would it be?
That would be telling, you'll have to come see us in February!

BVE returns to Excel London from 27 February to 1 March, 2018. Further information can be found via the official event website.
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