22 Top Tips for IBCTuesday, August 13, 2013 6:14 PM
We’re gearing up to attend IBC once again, here in the WTS offices, and while we prepare ourselves, we thought we’d share some of our top tips for Amsterdam and the show to help you do the same and get the most out of the five days of madness.
Most of our team are seasoned IBC-ers so while some of these tips might seem obvious, they’re also useful to keep in mind, especially if this is your first visit.
Our team will be holding stand tours for our clients, researching new products and technologies, catching up with old friends, and will no-doubt be regulars at the Beach and parties. They also promise to make time for meetings, so get in touch if you want to arrange something while you’re there.
1. Getting from the Airport. If you’re going directly from Schipol to the RAI, or vice versa, go by train. It’s €40 cheaper than a taxi and half an hour quicker. The train station is in the airport and it’s a five-minute walk to the RAI from the station.
2. Get the IBC App. The IBC 2013 App is excellent and extremely useful at the show. It beats a show-guide hands down. You have access to a detailed map and exhibitor list, you can navigate, save and make notes against your favourites exhibitors, and lots more.
3. Comfortable shoes. If you’ve ever been to a trade-show this is an obvious one, but particularly relevant for IBC. The RAI is simply enormous, so a day at the show often means clocking significant mileage on foot. We advise comfortable shoes, and taking advantage of a seat when you get the chance.
4. Your contacts. Perhapsanother obvious one, but make life easy for yourself and check that all your relevant contacts are saved into your phone, including your hotel number and a number for a local cab company. If you are meeting up with new customers or contacts for the first time, this obviously makes sense.Wifi hot spots can be hard to find, so don’t rely on your emails.
5. Paracetamol. Be kind to yourself. You are bound to be doing some drinking, and you probably won’t be getting enough sleep either.Make sure you’re still on form during the day by bringing pain-killers and your best hang-over remedies. We suggest some vitamin C and Caffeine supplements.
6. Water. Lots of stands provide bottled water to stand visitors, so take advantage andkeep hydrated.
7. Mints. Fresh breath is a must at IBC. No one wants to talk to donkey breath from the night before. Make sure you have some on you, and keep an eye out for freebies at the show.
8. Taxis. Don’t expect to leave the RAI and immediately find an abundance of cabs on the rank and no queue. The 6pm exodus can be tedious at the taxi rank so factor that in to any after-show arrangements.
9. Free tram tickets. IBC kindly supplies free tram tickets for the duration of the show, an easy way to get into town at the end of the day. You can pick these up at the information desk at the show but you will need to get yourself to the RAI in the first place to collect it.
Handy tips to help you prepare
10. Factor walking-time. Make sure you set up your meetings with enough time to get to each one. IBC is a hectic show, and the venue is huge, so journeying from one place to another could take longer than you think. Meetings also can often take up more time than you expect.
11. Business cards. Make sure you have enough, and don’t forget to pack them.
12. Remember the time-difference. A common mistake at IBC is the time difference. Your work calendar probably won’t update itself, while your mobile device will. Avoid being late for everything by double-checking your schedule and don’t rely on your device.
13. Restaurant bookings. Amsterdam has some top-class restaurants and culinary treats to help you really impress your customers and colleagues. But a reservation can be difficult to get on the day, so book well in advance to make sure you have a table. We recommend the South-American steak houses, and there is some great Indonesian food there too.
14. Pack for all weather. Amsterdam is as unpredictable as London, and has ranged from 13 to 30 degrees for the show in the last few years. Make sure you’re packed for all eventualities: Umbrellas, sun-glasses, overcoats and sunscreen could all be as useful as each-other.
15. Parties. Manufacturers parties are not as lavish as they used to be, but if you know where to look there are still some good ones. Find out from your contacts what parties are planned and get yourself on the guest-list in advance.
When you’re there...
16. Go light. Carrying too much with you each day can weigh you down, and even a lightweight laptop seems a heavy burden after a long day. You might be heading straight out for drinks and dinner after the show, so the lighter you travel, the more options you have and the more comfortable you’ll feel.
17. Visit the Beach. A fixture at the show, the Beach Bar is the best place to do some alfresco networking. It’s not the most discreet place to meet if your business is under the radar, but if you’re looking for someone, it’s a good place to start.
18. Take advantage of stand-drinks. Lots of stands put on after-show drinks at the end of the day, which are a good way to network and save your expense bill. EVS and Arri are good ones to check out.
19. Don’t forget your manners. You are bound to see lots of people you know, across the halls or across the bar, but before tackling them from behind, check that you are welcome to approach. Your friend may be involved in an important business deal, or talking to their boss, so wait until you've made eye-contact and been recognised before catching up.
20. Don’t forget the conference sessions. A key part of the IBC event, but sometimes forgotten, is the conference line-up. Take a look at this year’s schedule and see if there is anything for you. You never know, you might learn something.
21. IBC’s Saturday Movie. It seems unlikely, with everything going on, that you’ll fancy a movie at the end of the day, but we’ve only just found out about it so we thought we’d add it here. Prometheus will be showing on the big screen in the Auditorium at 18.30 on Saturday. So if you fancy a sit-down and an escape from the hordes before you head out to your Saturday parties, keep it in mind.
22. And finally, learn to like Heineken. It’s the only beer you’ll get at the show.