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Top tips for a trip to Mipcom

28 September 2011

Next week's Mipcom programme market isn't just attended by the global giants of the TV business, but by hundreds of smaller production companies. Here five companies, based out of Pact's UK Indies stand, give their top tips for the making the most of the market.

Tim Sparke, Mercury Media
Why do you go to Mipcom? Because it is the best place to have focussed meetings with clients eager to license Mecury's films and series.
What are you selling? 15 new documentary films from award-winning directors, a weekly series about trends on the internet and in social media which starts in Jan 2012, a three part series in production for the BBC about Edinburgh Castle. Our catalogue of 80+ films, and our new state of the art VOD/Connected platform technology.
Who are you meeting? We have 120 appointments with buyers from all the top public service and commercial broadcasters.
What do you hope to achieve at Mipcom? Our 2012 revenue budget, a re-positioned brand.
How much does the trip cost? Less than £10k for four attendees all in.
What are your top tips for making the most of the market? Prepare each meeting beforehand and listen to what your client is saying. Be unique - don't get drunk, sleep with anyone, or buy a round of drinks in the Grand. The consequences of each can be costly, taken together they can be ruinous. Go to bed early, get up early and take a meditative walk along the Croisette each day - the exercise will help you perform at your best. Don't be pushy, rude or obnoxious, you're a guest, not a tourist, and remember at least once a day especially when someone around you is losing it, what a privilege it is to be working in our industry.
Favourite restaurant? La Cave - it's a wine-shop with a restaurant attached.
Best place to do business? On the terrace of Lerins Hall looking out onto the harbour at the end of the day.
Where do you stay? In a clean cheerful 2-star five mins from the Palais.

Rod Rodrigo, IMC Vision
What do you hope to achieve at Mipcom? With almost daily jitters in the financial markets today, the palette of territories from which you draw your sales has become very unstable. Some territories which may have performed in the past are taking a back seat while other territories step up to the mark. Mipcom this year is about keep abreast of these trends. We are also looking for more content.
How much does the trip cost? Too much! Our market spend is a substantial amount of money for what could be an apparently non tangible benefit especially if deals are not closed at the market itself. The question is, can we achieve the same with one to one client meetings in their own territories rather than at a market like Mipcom. The jury is still out.
What are your top tips for making the most of the market? Planning, planning, planning. Most buyers’ schedules get pretty full up early on and leaving it for a “drop by” or “passing trade” these days is a risk you shouldn’t take. Also, networking ROCKS! Even if you hate late nights and slightly warm Cote de Provence at extortionate prices, stay up. Be seen. You need to build your personal profile so that people know who you are. If that means playing the piano at the Grand Hotel bar at 3.00am then that’s what you have to do! The old saying “people buy people” is so true. And wear comfortable shoes.
Favourite restaurant? Jardin Bambou – probably the greatest Chinese in Europe. If you want to impress? The old town.
Best place to do business? Grand Hotel Bar. 7.30pm or later. You will be amazed at what gets talked about at night. But I guess the signing is always done on stand in the Palais, so I would have to say your stand should be your home sweet home for the week!
Where do you stay? Le Flea Pit. I guess if your room has running water and a bed, you are lucky in Cannes. This is one of my greatest bug bears. I would be quite happy with a Premier Inn standard room... at Premier Inn prices. The problem is that Cannes has got a captive market and they don’t really live in the real world. We have thought about staying out of Cannes, which is considerably cheaper, but then if you are entertaining and networking, it becomes very inconvenient and expensive in cab fares...

Christian Baute, Headline Pictures

Why do you go to Mipcom? Mipcom is the best place to meet international producers and production companies under one roof. It’s always so much better to meet people face to face. Some of our most fruitful professional relationships were born and blossomed in the Palais.
What are you selling/pitching/buying there? This year we will be looking for partners for our returning drama series The Drivers, a story set on and around the European racetracks of the 1950s, written by Michael Hirst (The Tudors, Camelot) and co-produced with Scott Free and Sennet Entertainment. We are also looking for partners for a series adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s wonderful alternate history novel The Man in the High Castle, written by Howard Brenton (Spooks) and developed with the BBC and Scott Free.
Who are you meeting? This year we are meeting AMC, TCM, RTL Television, ProSieben Sat1, Bavaria, Telepool, TF1, M6 and Sky Italia amongst others.
What do you hope to achieve at Mipcom? We hope to strengthen relationships with our existing international contacts, and of course make many new ones!
How much does the trip cost? This year we expect it to cost around £6,200.
What are your top tips for making the most of the market? Before heading to France we make sure we read all the international trades – Televisual, C21, the Hollywood Reporter etc – to see what other companies have got in the works. We don’t arrange meetings just for the sake of it, and we try and make sure we’re meeting the most appropriate contact at each company. It’s also a good idea to leave half an hour between meetings to avoid rushing.
Favourite restaurant?
Coquillages Brun, Angle 2 rue Louis Blanc et 27 rue Félix Faure, Cannes.
Best place to do business? Hotel Majestic, 10 La Croisette.
Where do you stay? We usually rent a villa in Le Cannet for some peace and quiet!

Olivier Lauchenauer, Pogo Films
Why do you go to Mipcom? To sell our Stereo 3D Broadcast and Blu-ray/VOD content for the world market.
What are you selling/pitching/buying there? We have about 12 hours of Stereo 3d broadcast content. Although Electric Sky represent us and are out there with their own stand we find additional contacts and meet content distributors to have a better feel of the market and its needs.
Who are you meeting? As 3d is still in its infancy it's any 3d broadcaster.
What do you hope to achieve at Mipcom? Sell our content to the worldwide market and develop relationships with broadcasters and content producers.
How much does the trip cost? Between £3-4k.
What are your top tips for making the most of the market? Don't just make one trip, it takes time to develop contacts and relationships.
Favourite restaurant? The Splendid by the railway station. Cheap and cheerful.
Best place to do business? On the stand.
Where do you stay? In a rented flat.

Colin Williams, Sixteen South

Why do you go to Mipcom? We go to pitch our new properties to international broadcasters and to meet potential co-production partners and financiers from all over the world. We work in children’s – and it’s one of the two major markets every year where everyone we want to meet are in the same place!
What are you selling/pitching/buying there? We’re at Mip this year to pitch two new pre-school properties for the international marketplace – a mixed media animation called Driftwood Bay and an innovative outdoors puppet show called WonderWoods.
Who are you meeting? We’re pitching to broadcasters from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France, UAE, China and Ireland. We are also meeting with potential co-production partners from all these countries. And lots of old friends and partners too!
What do you hope to achieve at Mipcom? Our goal is to sell our shows to broadcasters. However we’re also building new relationships and strengthening our existing relationships too. We want to continue to promote SixteenSouth as not just a creator of high quality content but also a potential co-producer. We’re on the look out too for exciting new projects that we could get involved in - last year’s Mip was where we began our discussions to co-produce Big and Small season 3 for CBeebies and Pajanimals with The Jim Henson Company for Sprout.
How much does the trip cost? We will spend around £7k.
What are your top tips for making the most of the market?
- Make sure you have a great pitch and bible.
- Plan your meetings well in advance.
- Be strategic about who you meet and research their work.
- Be open to discovering new opportunities you may not have thought about.
- If you plan on any leave behinds after a meeting use a USB key rather than paper – less likely to get left behind in the hotel!
Favourite restaurant? Cookies and Coffee for Breakfast La Pizza for Dinner.
Best place to do business? The networking lounge is good but make sure you book a table. We love meetings in Café Roma and the many bars and lobbies along the Croisette.
Where do you stay? We usually book an apartment close to the palais.

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Andrew Baker
Andrew Baker  | September 29, 2011
The PACT Indie stand is the place to be - we are running free surgeries for anyone who is going - book at the stand but places are limited!
Deborah Forrest (Studio Scotland)
Deborah Forrest (Studio Scotland)  | September 29, 2011
Yes, we love Mip too - it's great to have a concentration of the world's best to meet with and the initial financial investment is always well worth it. The Pact/UK Indies stand is the best place to be!

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