IABM celebrates 40th anniversary with growing Asian presence
APB asks Peter Bruce, director of the IABM APAC, for an update on IABM’s activities in Asia two years after an APAC office was set up in Singapore. Dennis Breckenridge, managing director of systems integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions Asia, who was elected chair of the IABM APAC Regional Council in June this year, also shares with APB some of the initiatives that the IABM will be putting in place in the region.
Peter, the IABM has made many changes over the past two years. Can you explain the progress of the IABM and the changes that have taken place?
Peter Bruce: Yes, the IABM is now 40 years old and looking forward to a further 40 years. The decision from the IABM Members’ Board was to establish regional offices to cater for the different needs of members worldwide. Thus, with the guidance of the IABM’s chief executive, Peter White, the IABM has set up regional councils and established more resources outside of the UK headquarters, making IABM truly global.
Following on from setting up a North American office, the APAC office was established in Singapore two years ago. We have also added representatives and offices in Japan, the UK, Dubai for the Middle East and Frankfurt for Europe. Remember that the IABM is a not-for-profit trade association and it relies on its member companies to lead activities.
What has been the effect of these changes? Bruce: As a result of establishing the APAC office, we have been able to roll out many more regionally focused activities and events, including a series of regional members’ meetings. We’ve also extended the amount of support at events such as exhibitions and opened up training in APAC. As a result, our APAC membership has grown significantly.
Where has this growth been most significant and how do you see the future? Bruce: The biggest growth comes from China and it was an excellent sign that Huawei joined as a Platinum member. Membership is widely spread across the region, ranging from Japanese conglomerates such as Sony and Hitachi to software solution companies such as Amagi in India and regional systems integrator. Another important job for us is supporting more than 200 local offices of member companies headquartered outside of the area.
❝The biggest growth comes from China and it was an excellent sign that Huawei joined as a Platinum member.❞ — Peter Bruce, Director, IABM APAC
Dennis, congratulations on your election. How did this come about? Dennis Breckenridge: I was delighted last year when I heard that the IABM was setting up an APAC Council, and volunteered to join.
The APAC Regional Council held an election during Broadcast Asia 2016, at which I was appointed to the Chair. With the support of Peter Bruce, we have brought together a tremendous range of industry expertise and regional experience that we can put at the service of IABM members in the region to really help move things forward for everyone.
Why does APAC need its own regional council? Breckenridge: The point is that, while some interests can be represented centrally — standards, training, industry intelligence and so on — there are very real differences in regional markets around the world that require their own individual solutions. Indeed, even within a region, there can be notable differences in approach required — something I learnt very quickly while setting up Advanced Broadcast Solutions.
Many companies in the West assume that what works there must work in APAC too, and this is simply not always the case. While broadcasters in the West are mainly consolidating, Asian countries are rolling out huge infrastructures and supporting very large channel counts in comparison. Also, as the sophistication of many Asian countries grows and their economies and consumer trends evolve.
I believe we are now seeing innovation coming uniquely to Asia in products and services. We are also seeing true localisation and the development of large amounts of country- and language-specific content.
❝No longer are Asian broadcasters just turnaround operations, but rather, they are becoming content and distribution centres.❞ — Dennis Breckenridge,
Managing Director, Advanced Broadcast Solutions Asia; Chair, IABM APAC Regional Council
I believe we are now seeing innovation coming uniquely to Asia in products and services. We are also seeing true localisation and the development of large amounts of country and language-specific content. No longer are Asian broadcasters just turnaround operations, but rather, they are becoming content and distribution centers.
What plans do you have for the APAC Council and members in the region? Breckenridge: Over the coming months, I want to accelerate the growth of APAC regional events and select topics to address specific APAC industry gaps, hence benefiting participating members. I will also actively support membership growth in APAC to help achieve better representation for the region in IABM overall.
I will be pushing to develop better Asian-focused statistics for reports such as the IABM Industry Trends Survey Report. Also, there is a plethora of exhibitions and conferences in the region, and IABM will play an increasingly important role in guiding members to the most suitable events to market their products and services successfully.
Training is another area where IABM can help the industry in the APAC region. I will be working to help extend the range of online courses from our extensive training portfolio that can bring the necessary knowledge into the region quickly and effectively.
All in all, I’m excited and energised by the possibilities that a strong IABM APAC Regional Council can open up for members in the region, and am looking forward to implementing as much as I can as quickly as possible.