For those of you who don’t know, MIPCOM is “the world’s entertainment content market”, and it’s happening in Cannes, in the South of France, next week.
This annual trade show has been running since 1985, and is the place where TV and film companies come to buy and sell content, strike new deals, and listen to keynote speeches and panels from industry experts.
This year will be Laduma’s first at the show. We have a fantastic stand, which includes a terrace where you can enjoy a drink with a sea view (Booth: Riviera 7). And we also have a beautiful yacht, The Bettina, where we can meet with clients and talk business.
My colleague Sam Moulson recently highlighted just some of the ways virtual reality has been used by TV and film producers to engage audiences around their new content. Read it here.
And it is this kind of momentum which we will be looking to build on, from October 17-20, as we showcase our work in sport, entertainment and wildlife.
But while this is my first MIP, we have a host of veterans of the event, from our Executive Chairman Wayne Scholes to our VP of Marketing Lauren Reynolds.
Since meeting Wayne for the first time around 18 months ago, MIPCOM has never been very far from his lips, in terms of an event he loves, but also one where another of his other companies, Red Touch Media, has enjoyed enormous success .
So what should I expect?
“MIPCOM is different,” I’ve been told. “Long days, lots of meetings, and plenty of fun”.
In the past few weeks I’ve been to Soccerex (Manchester) and Leaders (London). After MIPCOM, I will go to Sportel (Monaco), Promax BDA UK (London), Web Summit (Lisbon) and Fanalyse (Cardiff). All great events and ones where we are proud to showcase Laduma and the work we do. These events have – and will – involve plenty of long days, meetings and fun, too.
But they are not MIP.
1700 decision makers, exhibitors from 100 countries, this is a trade show on a different scale. Will we get to talk to everyone we need to? My former employers the BBC will be there. So will the huge movie studios Red Touch Media work with, including Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Our VP of Biz Dev Mike Santiago has been connecting and filling up the schedule to make sure we maximise our time over there.
This is likely the only one of these trade shows where we will get to demonstrate to people our 3D virtual reality on a yacht in one of the world’s most glamourous locations. Our yacht is a place to have more private conversations away from our booth, while the terrace bar will also act as a place to talk in more detail.
Things like this excite me, the chance to be outside and enjoy different venues. These kind of trade shows can become repetitive so by investing in different locations we can bring a fresh feel to what we do, and also bring new energy to potential clients who’ve been in the same conference all day.
Then there is a VR itself. It’s a new and exciting technology which the organisers have really embraced. Our CEO Ben Smith is on a panel on the Tuesday discussing best in class VR. There are also events around immersive journalism, interactive storytelling and how to monestise 360° content.
To me this is the perfect time to be attending my first MIPCOM as I’m fascinated to see how our work is thought of by those who hold sway in the 2D space. Will they see what we see? And will they want others to?
And finally, there is the weather. The forecast currently shows a mixture of cloud and sun. But there’s also a reason Laduma is taking both umbrellas and sunglasses as giveaways to delegates. If nothing else, I’ll be prepared for the weather.