Last year was my first time at MIPCOM. I thought I was ready. I had been to other Film/TV markets before, but still, when I got to Cannes – it was still a bit overwhelming. So here are five things to know before you go!
1. Register early
Register as early as you can, this will provide the biggest savings. If you are planning on exhibiting, the deadlines are much early than just registering as a visitor. MIPCOM does have a special rate for producers attending for the first time. There are also pavilions, that are sponsored by certain countries, that may help you attend. For the independent producer, the registration prices may seem pricey, but the contacts and business relationships forged at MIPCOM are priceless. When you are registering, make sure your passport is in good order and if necessary make sure you get a visa. Don’t forget to book your hotel and your transport (find help with that here).
2. Maximise your online profile
Once registered, you get access to the database, where you have an opportunity to set up an online profile to connect with other professionals. Make sure you list all your available titles, upcoming projects, and have your trailers uploaded. Get your tech ready, chargers, extra batteries, etc. There are charging and lounge areas. But, maximise your time by actually having meetings, not waiting for your iPad to charge.
3. Set your meetings
Once your online profile is active, you can use the calendar function to schedule/request meetings. Most business is done in the first couple of days by the major studios, so don’t be disappointed if you’re not granted a meeting. There are plenty of other opportunities to network on shuttle buses, coffee lines, etc. During the last couple days of the market, “drop bys” become acceptable, so have your business cards ready. I spend the last day handing out and collecting business cards. I then spend the next year, cultivating those connections I made on the last day.
4. Attend events
Facebook and Twitter’s conference sessions were two of the most useful events I attended (and they’ll be back this year: check out the conference programme here). I listened to a couple of keynotes to learn where our industry is headed. I got to meet and speak to other independent producers after some premiere screenings. I attended the Northern Ireland film Commission lunch last year – this year after the market, I’m actually going to Ireland. As a producer, I’ve found that attending events I find enjoyable also attracts the type of people I would potentially like to partner with in the future.
5. Have fun!
MIPCOM, like the other markets, is completely different from San Diego Comic Con or Dragon*Con. MIPCOM is strictly business. There are some “red carpet” type press events, but nothing truly for the fans – unless you are a fan of the business. That said, the official opening night and other cocktail events throughout the week are great for networking. So don’t be afraid to break the ice!
My last piece of advice? Wear comfy shoes. Ours is a business of networking and relationships. The same buyers that bought from me 20 years ago are the same ones today. You can’t beat sitting down with someone you haven’t seen in 20 years or meeting a potential new business partner – but you will have to walk to get there.
HAVE A GREAT MARKET! SEE YOU AT MIPCOM!