The Buzz about the Inter Bee – NAB-J

1965 marked Japan’s first Broadcast Equipment Exhibition, which was hosted both by the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB-J), and the 2nd Technical Report Conference on Commercial Broadcasting. A dozen companies attended this event at Invention Hall in Minato, Tokyo. At the 10th incarnation of this event, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) came aboard as a cooperating organization. At their next event in 1975, they garnered a huge wave of industry attention with the introduction of their special exhibit entitled: “Broadcast-TV Multiplex Broadcasts? The Wave of the Future” and by the next BEE event overseas, exhibitors had ‘discovered’ this Asian venue.

Makuhari Messe Convention Center (this is still the Inter BEE’s current home)

In 1982, the event was held at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center (TRC) in Heiwajima, Tokyo. The exhibit space requirements had dramatically increased since the first show in ‘65, along with this location having additional capacity for future expansion, as well. This move also prompted the sponsors to update the event’s name, as well; it now made the official change to “The International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE),” – an acknowledgment of its growing international status. Expansion brought more room to separate more specialized exhibits into their own sections (such as Cameras, Sound, etc.). with ensuing shows having even more accelerated growth, convincing the sponsors of the need for a radical increase in available space. The number of exhibitors had now increased to well over 20 times the amount at the first show of the BEE in 1965. Beyond exhibits many new services and events were held as well.

Inter BEE outgrew its former accommodations within eight years, so in 1990, the show relocated again to Chiba, Japan, a city just outside Tokyo in the

Part of the competition of line array speaker systems from nine companies
Part of the competition of line array speaker systems from nine companies

Makuhari Messe Convention Center (this is still the Inter BEE’s current home) that had just opened the previous year. The Makuhari Messe is often the preferred venue of many high tech shows in this area of Japan. The center has easy access to the Tokyo rail system as well as being relatively close to the Tokyo Disney Resort (convenient for mixing business with pleasure, especially if you bring the family along). In 1990, the show’s special requirements had reached 20,000 square meters. With a new exhibit hall being incorporated into the show every five years or so, this year’s event now fills 47,000 square meters.

By 1998, attendance was in excess of 30,000 people, placing the show in similar territory in the broadcast equipment field to the western world’s NAB and IBC shows. The effects of the industry-wide shifts due to digitization began to have its effect on the Inter BEE in 2000. In 2007, “Inter BEE online” splashed down in the internet to maximize the shows influence in the industry. Exhibit Info could now be had worldwide at the touch of a button at any time. By the following year, over 800 companies had exhibits at the show.

1Korea came aboard by 2010, leading a new wave of heightening involvement by additional eastern countries/companies. Just over a decade after digitization started to influence the Inter BEE, the digitization of Japan (save for a few remote NE areas of the country) was underway – this new shift, of course, brought new things to the show.

The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association and the Japan Electronics Show Association are eager to accommodate interested attendees at this 50th anniversary Inter BEE show. Technology drives change and change drives technology; this circular cycle seems to keep picking up speed year after year. The trade shows that have stood the test of time have evolved and advanced steadily with the broadcast industry. 2014’s Inter BEE Show contained a plethora of techno-goodies for the broadcast professional.

Canon was there with a series of seminars, mini-seminars, sessions, and the Canon Camera2628_01_w700 Museum section. Needless to say, there will, of course, also be some shiny new tech. A few recent products were showcased such as the DP-V3010 30-inch 4K Reference Monitor, the EOS C100 Mark II, but that’s not all… Canon also announced the global debut of its CN20×50 IAS H 1500mm 20x zoom CINE-SERVO lens.

NEC made its debut in 1898, founded by Kunihiko Iwadare and Takeshiro Maeda. This company has the distinction of being the Inter BEE show’s longest running exhibitor (for all 50 years of the venue’s operation). NEC debuted two products: The “NC-H1200P” ultra-high-sensitivity camera, and the “VC/VD-800” 2K HEVC codec; along with these, there was the new FM Exciter, a Digital audio mixing console that premiered elsewhere but received its Japanese introduction during this show. In addition, there was over a dozen of their newest products, as well.

Atomos, no stranger to innovation, infiltrated the Inter BEE with a full-line of its outdoor video recorder products and a few other nifty things, too. Also at the Atomos exhibit, some other recent favorites made appearances, like The SHOGUN, Full HD Director’s Monitor. I hope you didn’t miss their hands-on displays and workflow seminar, either!

photo-8-600x450aHundreds and hundreds more exhibitors were there, filling the halls with the latest technology – major players were everywhere at this year’s Inter Bee 2014. I hope you stopped-by and helped them celebrate their 50th year! Afterwards, I hope you enjoyed the Tokyo nightlife – or, if that wasn’t to your mettle, there as always Disneyland!

Anthony Rogers is a freelance writer/author currently plying his trade within the broadcast, post-production and studio areas of the media world.He has contributed many articles to Broadcast Beat and appears in Broadcast Beat Magazine frequently.
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