IBC 2021 has become the latest victim of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, having been forced to cancel its in-person December 3-6 planned event after the host country, The Netherlands, was ravaged by a fresh wave of the disease and an intensification of popular protests against the imposition of a partial lockdown.
Following the incidence of 22,956 new cases and 53 fresh deaths in the Dutch heartland on Tuesday, 23rd November, the IBC authorities issued a terse statement: “IBC announces that the in-person IBC 2021 event has been cancelled. The move follows growing concerns about the COVID-19 situation in The Netherlands, which has deteriorated over the past week, and feedback from the IBC exhibitor and visitor community.
“The IBC Partnership Board made the decision in order to prevent exhibitors and visitors from traveling to The Netherlands,” the statement added. “IBC 2021 will now focus on bringing the content and technology community together via IBC Digital.”
Although no further details of the digital plan were announced, IBC Digital has been offering a wealth of content, tagged and curated by a dedicated team, to professionals in the industry free access to its entire programme and allow attendees to schedule live meetings with exhibitors and each other.
The show organisers are now busy reworking IBC 2021 into a fully digital format and details of the virtual event should be out soon.