What if you’re new to MIPCOM?

I don’t exactly know whether you could call me a MIP veteran, but it’s certainly not my first market here in Cannes. I’ve been strolling around the Palais des Festivals since 2008. And yet, I felt intrigued by an offering called “Firsttimer Invitation Cocktail” and I thought it might be a good idea to check what you’re told in case it should really be your first visit to a MIP in Cannes. So the central question is: how do buyers (eg. broadcasters) and sellers (eg. producers) come together and how do you actually strike a deal?


Newcomer Briefing at MIPCOM

Roughly 150 newcomers were in the Esterel auditorium for the introductory session this afternoon. The audience was first of all welcomed with a few facts, that is: with all the MIP-themed markets Reed MIDEM offers the largest entertainment business gathering of the world. For MIPCOM 2010 this means: 12,000 entertainment executives and 4,000 buyer’s from 100 countries come together for business. OK, sounds convincing: this alone, I thought, may justify the not inexpensive visit and showcasing for content producers. But beyond these official numbers and details,  it’s not so much the first minutes of the briefing that seem essential in this introductory event, it’s definitely the way everybody is encouraged to get “into the mood” and prepare for business in order to have a successful week. Encouraged also through seemingly trivial reminders like: “one should not be shy”, “approach the people” or “everyone is here just for one single aim: to get deals done”.

Soon after this initial briefing, the two official MIPCOM presenters invited the crowd to a reception room, actively promoting the idea that everyone should (while having a cocktail) use this occasion to exchange business cards and make first contact, basically amongst ourselves – which made perfect sense since we, the newcomers, consisted of both buyers and sellers … even if the ratio was somewhere around 1:10. The next minutes then were indeed valuable: once on the reception the small talk began, cards were given and taken, everyone was increasingly engaging in chats, a quite lively and friendly atmosphere arose. Some 20 minutes later, small groups were assigned for a tour around the Palais des Festivals, the major exhibition and meeting area of MIPCOM. With the first contacts made, the walk through the venues was even more enjoyable and insightful as well, with essential details on key locations being provided on the way (buyer’s club, seller’s club, orientation in the marketplace etc.). After the tour and the official ending, some of the groups even remained together in order to enjoy a drink at the Boulevard de la Croisette in downtown Cannes. And frankly, that sounds like a very good start to get buyers and sellers together … may the content be sold!

So my personal conclusion is: even though some of the above may sound trivial, it’s actually good (if not even essential) to be reminded of the opportunities of this market incl. the proactivity required. And the encouraging character of this introduction with it’s social dimension serves this goal well. Long story short: I believe this session is definitely worth your while in case this is your debut at MIPCOM.

(JW)

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