Mipcom topper upbeat

Weatherseed expects a 'busy market' with 10,544 signees

PARIS — Mipcom organizers on Monday dismissed reports that they have been inundated with cancellations for the TV mart in Cannes next month.

So far “about 20” people have said they won’t come or expressed doubts about attending, Reed Midem TV topper Michael Weatherseed told Daily Variety — “peanuts” compared with the 10,544 who’ve signed up to go.

The number of exhibiting companies is up on the same period last year, from 1,122 to 1,191.

‘Busy market’

“We are certainly not seeing many pull-outs, and our numbers are looking good,” the exec asserted. “I’m still expecting a busy market where business will be done.”

But the mart is likely to have a stronger European flavor this year as companies from continents farther afield opt to send regional execs rather than risk long-distance air travel, he said.

“Some people have said they are not coming because they do not feel happy about traveling, but they’ve got people locally who can do the job for them. For instance, it might be that American companies send smaller teams from the U.S., but we are expecting them to send more Europeans in their place.”

Signups slowed

The exec also conceded that registration for the mart has been affected since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. two weeks ago. This time last year, some 10,860 people had signed up — about 90% of the total participation.

“People’s schedules have been thrown by the tragic events, and it is understandable that they are taking their time registering with us. Our New York office is also running a week behind. But we’ve still got another two weeks to go before the market opens.”

Until then, Reed’s major concern is ensuring that security is up to scratch, Weatherseed said. adding, “We don’t want these events to turn our lives upside down.”

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