When I say to friends and family that I am off to New York, France or other parts of the world, they all are envious. They think that I am off for a couple of meetings and then off sunbathing on the Cote D’Azur or drinking at some swank place in the Big Apple. NoWay!
For weeks up to the event, I am scrambling to get appointments -- dozens upon dozens of appointments. I go to these markets with several goals. I am want to pitch new properties, talk to producers about their production needs both in service work and in co-production and to hunt for new prospects. My schedule is a veritable rainbow, all color coded so I know at a glance what the topic will be.
Some would say I am anal retentive, but I am not the only one walking around with these details all organized on paper, digitally or both. When you have only one half hour to meet, greet, get down to business and conclude with a next step, you have to be on your game. Then it is running to the next meeting to start all over again. These meetings, whether they are at MIPCOM or KidScreen, are usually in a location where you are perched on a small chair in a small space, balancing everything on your lap, including iPad, laptop and notebook. Goodness gracious if you are offered water, that’s one more thing to balance.
This goes on morning to night, in the restroom, at dinner, in the lobby, outside with the smokers. Everywhere. You are constantly on, constantly pitching. Is it worth it?
I ask myself this every time. It is a two month preparation process and for what? As I said before, when you go to every market, you have a chance to catch up, build relationships and make new contacts. But there is more.
Even with the choking cost to attend these markets you could not afford to fly from country to country and city to city to meet everyone in their offices. Physically it is impossible and the cost would be out of this world. So attending conferences is the chance to see the whole world at one time.
I am heading to MIPCOM soon. I am in the throes of making appointments, endlessly changing appointment times to suit other’s scheduled. My goals are in place. I will let you know if I meet those goals.