Conference regular? If so, you’ll have doubtless had the experience of waiting for an enticing looking keynote or panel discussion, and in the meantime listening to something at best irrelevant and at worst boring.
Well, for delegates at this year’s TV Connect, it could well be that this experience proves a thing of the past: for 2016, the world’s leading connected event has been completely restructured.
If this is so, it is no mean feat: in its 12 year history, TV Connect has moved from a narrowly concentrated event looking at IPTV, to what we now know as “connected entertainment”, a broad church encompassing everything from metadata to OTT, the smart home to LTE broadcast, among others.
Inevitably, the TV Connect content schedule could easily become a little too eclectic. What fascinates this attendee could be complete gibberish to that one, while the process of finding exactly what was most relevant to you (and whose hand was most worth shaking) could take three days of scuttling between one room and another.
Now, however, that’s all changed. Even a look at the agenda-at-a-glance for this year’s TV Connect presents an immediately distinct spectacle, with the content subsections bundled together on different days – whether that’s Millenial Monetisation, Big Data, IoT, or any other.
Think of it as a lot of concentrated, interactive, mini-conferences operating beneath the umbrella of one big one, so that if you’re seeking to discover everything you can about 4K, say, or emerging markets (etc., etc.) – well, there’s a day, time, and place to head to for a concentrated injection of everything you need to know, with all the discussions, talks, roundtables and thought leaders pooled together.
IP&TV News spoke to TV Connect researchers Philip Hirons and Chris Read find out more.
Philip Hirons: In some ways this year’s TV Connect is the same as ever. The themes are there, the hot topics are there, the must-haves are there. What’s changed is the delivery of it. We’ve tried to break it down into much more specific areas, so it’s a lot more focussed on each track, while the tracks they’re competing against each day are very separate, very distinct. So we should get the same people in the same track and have a bit more of a continued, engaged workflow with everybody. That’s the aim of the whole idea.
Chris Read: I think in previous years, we’ve only been able to scratch the surface with a lot of topics, whereas this year we’ve been able to make it a lot more focussed, almost niche, so it’s very specialised for a particular type of person in their role. Grouping those types of people together in that focussed environment means you can scratch two or three layers beneath and get a much greater level of granularity.
Philip Hirons: We’re still trying to provide the overview, too, however. In the keynotes themselves there are a lot of overarching topics — strategic level stuff that covers a broad base as connected entertainment. But the idea of different tracks is that, as Chris says, you can delve deeper.
Chris Read: I think also it means we avoid repetition in terms of the sessions,. For example if you’re getting to the afternoon of Day 3, in previous years there’s always been that risk you’re going to be covering topics that have been covered in other sessions previously. With respect to this you know that the material and the content that you’re sharing is fresh and new and won’t have been something addressed to death already as part of the conference.
Philip Hirons: It’s fair to say that leading up to this year there was a bit of a lack of inspiration. It’s not to say the content wasn’t there, the speakers weren’t there or the audience. They’ve always been right. But it’s human nature – you’re going to pick something that’s more fun and engaging and interactive over something that’s a bit more mundane.
Chris Read: We’ve known for years it’s not acceptable to provide a death by PowerPoint platform. People very quickly switch off to that. In recent years we’ve developed this to include panels, roundtable discussions, lots of things like that. In 2016 I think we’ve taken another step forward, and we’re looking to share maximum content without sacrificing time for discussion and networking.
This year you’ll see an agenda with a lot more fast paced, energetic discussions, designed to cut out the fat and keep the leanest material.