Inside the Panel of Judges at the IBC Stand Design Awards

Inside the panel of judges at the IBC Stand Design Awards is a careful process that has been honed over a period of 50 years. The IBC Stand Design Awards are presented to the exhibitors that show the most flair and innovation in exhibiting and demonstrating their products or services. How did it all come about and what is the process for judging?

The International Broadcasting Convention was started by John Drew Tucker (EMI) along with John Etheridge (Rank Cintel) and Tom Mayer (Marconi) in a central London hotel. It moved to the Wembley conference centre two years later. Eventually it also outgrew its Brighton venue, and has flourished at the RAI in Amsterdam ever since. The show became an annual event in Amsterdam in 1994.

John Etheridge was initially the exhibition manager and stand designs in the early days were often constructed out of wood with all the building work done on-site at the last moment. Etheridge introduced the Stand Design Awards which had a big impact on the visual and environmental aspects of the stands. The judging process has evolved as design standards got better and choosing the best stand became much more difficult.

IBC Stand Design Awards

The Judging Process

The judges are volunteers and have a passion for IBC. They want companies to be able to show off their image and products to drive the best return on their investment. Better stand design also makes the journey through the halls more exciting for attendees.

The IBC Stand Design Awards judges form a jury made out of seven teams. Each team will search either one large hall or two smaller halls looking for nominations in three award categories: large free design stands, smaller free design stands and the shell scheme category.

Typically, the judges identify 50 nominees that they will all visit. A professional photographer takes reference shots. On the second day of the show a meeting takes place where the nominations are reviewed and votes are cast. Each judge submits a score of up to 35 points that is broken down as Impact (10), Creativity (15), Fit-for-purpose (10).

Stands must comply with the IBC stand design rules – or they get automatically disqualified. The process has both subjective and objective aspects.

Judges operate in a way that they may not be noticed and have a good selection of skills. Some judges have been on the jury for many years and the consensus is that standards and quality are improving year by year – so the awards scheme that John Etheridge started is working well.

For further information on the IBC Stand Design Awards for participating exhibitors, click here to find out what the judges are looking for and their top tips . Take note that you do not need to do anything special to be considered for the IBC Exhibition Stand Design Awards. All exhibitors (except 'outside exhibits') are automatically entered.

If you are a winner, a member of the judging team will visit the winning stands on Saturday during the show to present them with a trophy. In addition, winners of the IBC Stand Design Award will receive extensive publicity.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of IBC. Registration details for the conference and exhibition can be found here. Get a 20% discount to the conference and special passes valid only until 21st July on this link. For exhibition visitors, the early bird discount ends 18th August 2017. Get your place booked now here.

To prepare and get the most out of your visit, check out our guide, Eight Steps to Success at IBC.