This year’s physical edition of MIPCOM, which would have taken place in just over a month’s time, has been called off by organizers Reed Midem.
The annual TV confab, one of the industry’s biggest events, will go ahead as a digital-only edition. It’s likely that ever-changing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods for travellers in a number of countries have made staging the physical event in Cannes extremely challenging.
MIPCOM revealed earlier this summer that it would be running a digital offering, MIPCOM Online+, from Oct. 5 to Nov. 17. The platform will provide access to the conference’s keynotes, various sessions and panels and screenings. A number of major distributors including BBC Studios, ITV Studios and Fremantle — many of whom had pulled out of a physical presence in Cannes anyway — have signed on to participate in global upfronts on the digital platform.
Reed Midem confirmed on Thursday that this year’s MIPCOM will now take place online over a digital ‘MIPCOM Week’ running Oct. 12-16. This will include: a fully digital “Main Stage Cannes” conference and screenings program involving global upfronts, keynotes, market screenings and the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards. A newly installed Virtual Exhibit Hub and enhanced database will also allow users to set up video business meetings between distributors, producers, buyers and all international delegates.
Around that week, there will be a ‘MIPCOM Warm Up’ from Oct. 5, offering early access for participating delegates and exhibitors across various market intelligence sessions, content and finance briefings and the MIPJunior Screenings platform, as well as use of the MIPCOM Digital Hub to plan meetings for MIPCOM Week.
On the other side of the main week will be a ‘MIPCOM Follow Up+’ that runs Oct. 17-Nov. 17, and features replays of screenings, keynotes and conference sessions, from MIPCOM and MIP Junior. Delegates and exhibitors can continue to conduct business through the MIPCOM Online+ interactive database and Virtual Exhibit Hub, as well as the MIPJunior digital library.
Korea will be the Country of Honour at this year’s event, and will also be showcased on the new MIPCOM Online+ platform.
“Our motivation has always been to bring together the global entertainment community around the flagship week of MIPCOM in order to support content discovery and new business deals, whether online or in person,” said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s TV division.
“We made clear when we announced MIPCOM Rendezvous Cannes that we would only hold the physical market if conditions permitted. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 and recently increased travel restrictions, we believe that MIPCOM Online+ is the most effective way to move forward and to gather the global television community around MIPCOM Week.”
Elsewhere, drama festival Canneseries will continue to take place in person from Oct. 9-14 at the Theatre Lumiere in the Grand Palais and the Miramar theater, though it will also have a digital offering via platform Canneseries Live that will include all series in competition. Those titles will also be available on the platform to MIPCOM pass holders.
Earlier on Thursday, BBC Studios also called off its February Showcase event in Liverpool in favor of a digital edition, putting a question mark over the 2021 edition of the U.K. Screenings in London, which are built around the BBC Studios confab.
The cancellation of a physical edition of MIPCOM means 2020 will have had no major international TV gatherings in person since NATPE Miami and the Realscreen Summit in January, given Reed Midem was also forced to cancel its MipTV market in April.