With three months to go before the biggest event in the global TV industry returns to Cannes, ttvnews offers a snapshot of the state of affairs: which companies have confirmed their attendance? Which ones have not? What does the organization say? How effective would a virtual alternative be? The answers, up next.
After a completely virtual 2020, Mipcom faces a few decisive months ahead of its long-awaited return to an in-person edition, scheduled to be held from October 13 to 17 in Cannes, France.
The latest numbers revealed by the organization -now called RX France, after merging into a single brand Reed Midem and Reed Expositions France-, published on Monday, June 28, indicate that over 160 companies from more than 60 countries will attend.
However, a couple of low blows also arrived in June: BBC Studios and Banijay Group were the first big companies -thus far- to announce that they will not attend the in-person event.
Add to that the Delta variant, the slow rate of vaccination outside of Europe and the US, and intermittent travel restrictions… and the outlook suddenly becomes quite uncertain.
From the ttvnews newsroom we conducted a survey among multiple Mipcom regulars to find out their intention, as of today, about attending the big TV event.
The big conclusion? The industry is eager to meet face to face. Physical events may – and must – change in the post-pandemic world, but they will continue to be key to doing business in an increasingly global ecosystem built on a single foundation: personal relationships.
VIRTUAL EVENTS, AT A CROSSROADS
If in the second half of 2020 there was already talk of virtual fatigue, thinking of a totally digital Mipcom 2021 would be talking about exhaustion, even frustration.
Gone is the stage of enhancing the adaptability of the human being and the possibilities offered by technological tools: now the effectiveness of online events is beginning to be called into question. Several interviewees highlighted this issue.
“Virtual events were a great alternative for everyone at the beginning. But they are no longer effective as we expected,” confessed Aysegul Tuzun from Mistco. “With our clients we can meet at any time of the year thanks to technology, and with new clients it is difficult to meet in virtual events, since the marketing opportunities are very few”.
María Jesús Pérez, from RTVE, agreed: “In-person participation at events allows us to improve the quality of personal relationships and reach players and territories that are difficult to approach virtually. We must not lose sight of the fact that a good part of commercial work is based on communication between people.”
And, regarding the possibility of an online Mipcom, the executive was blunt: “The only option for RTVE is face-to-face participation, if this is possible.”
Julia Matyash from Sovtelexport (Russia Television and Radio) saw virtual markets as “additional opportunities”, but “definitely much less efficient than face-to-face meetings.”
“I think this last year and a half has been a huge wake up call for everyone,” said Ekin Koyuncu, the new CEO of Kanal D International. “We have participated in almost all the digital events but, to be honest, they were not very effective. We were already in contact with our clients through digital media such as Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime and attendance at these markets was really low.”
“Our work is about feelings, that’s how projects are created. If this situation were to continue, at Kanal D International we would stop participating in virtual events,” said the head of the Turkish distributor.
YES, NO, TBD
When consulting several companies about whether or not they plan to travel to Cannes for Mipcom 2021, the answers were mixed, but unanimous on one key issue: they do want to go.
Several companies made this wish a reality by confirming their participation at the event. Although, logically, they all know that it depends on the circumstances at the time of the event.
Among those confirmed are Star Media from Russia, which will also take the opportunity to celebrate its 15th anniversary in Cannes; 9 Story from Canada; Mondo TV Iberoamérica, which will also be at MIPJunior; ATV from Turkey; ZEE TV from India; and Talpa.
They were also very optimistic from Kanal D International. “We will be presenting new titles, so it will be a special moment for us,” commented its executive director.
Moreover, Audiovisual from Spain opened the registration period for its Mipcom pavilion, which will remain open until July 30. RTVE is one of those confirmed, as long as they can travel.
And so far, most companies seem inclined to participate physically. Then, the vast majority will take the months of July and August to narrow their intentions.
This is the case for ARTE France, which will resolve it “towards the end of July”; or that of Turkey’s Madd Entertainment and Mistco, although both insist on their wish to go.
Same is the goal for Star Media. “We will consider participating in person, but we cannot forecast the future, we cannot give a definitive answer at this time,” Diana Coifman told ttvnews.
Other companies that have not yet made a decision are Turkey’s Calinos Entertainment and Star TV, or the Spanish Black Panther Films, which will wait until September to resolve it.
Finally, BBC Studios and Banijay were the two large groups that confirmed that they will not have a physical presence at the event. Primetime also won’t be there, although it announced to ttvnews that they will participate virtually.
THE EVENT’S ANSWERS: CONFIDENCE, FLEXIBILITY AND MEASURES
Lucy Smith, the new director of Mipcom and Miptv after the departure of Laurine Garaude, published a letter last Monday, where she stated: “We want the entire international content industry to know that we will be rolling out the red carpet and that we will be open to the public in the Croisette. We are ready to welcome you this October.”
“With the commitment of 160 companies, the event has faith to successfully go through what will be its most challenging face-to-face edition.”
“We are working with our customers as closely as possible to provide everything they need. We are being flexible and trying to make it as easy as possible for them.”
She also revealed that this year they hope that many people will decide to participate in Mipcom outside of their company’s delegation.
Likewise, she welcomed the Passe Sanitaire announced by the French government, a health passport that is key to holding large events.
“We are committed to holding Mipcom 2021 for all who can attend. This October is a first step for us, for the industry and for each individual.”
And, as part of its commitment, RX France unveiled the battery of safety measures that will be implemented at Mipcom 2021:
– Mandatory use of masks for all participants, organizers and service providers.
– Hand sanitizer available during the event.
– Digitized badges and promotion of print @ home, to avoid queues and contact.
– Compliance with capacity and regulation of visitor traffic flows.
– Reinforcement of cleaning and disinfection of facilities.
– Reorganization of spaces for meetings and conference rooms, to guarantee social distancing.
– Reorganization of tables for on-site food service.
– Special communication and security reminders to staff and participants.
– Medical team present at the event for the management of people with symptoms compatible with Covid.
Thus, the following weeks will be decisive to know what Mipcom 2021 will be like. From ttvnews we will continue to inform the community on the day-to-day of this evolution, and we fervently hope to be able to meet again in October with so many colleagues and friends.