Due to COVID-19 concerns, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) has canceled its annual conference in Miami, which was set to take place from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20. The organization announced it would not be proceeding with the in-person conference on Saturday.
Dates and locations for the next conference and marketplace event are currently under consideration. In the meantime, NATPE is planning to produce a combination of virtual and in-person events throughout the year “when appropriate,” which will be available at low or no cost to attendees.
Along with the Miami conference, the organization’s premier events are L.A. Screenings Independents and NATPE Budapest, which in June 2021 was postponed from Aug. 2021 to June 2022.
“Although this decision from a financial point of view will cost the organization a great deal of money, that was secondary to our primary concern, which is to put the welfare of our members first,” said JP Bommel, president and CEO of NATPE. “We put a great deal of safety protocols in place, but it is just not enough given the intensity of this virus which is spreading at an enormous rate all over the world. We look forward to producing a strong conference at the right time and under the best circumstances and to provide all our attendees with the greatest value we can offer.”
NATPE Miami is yet another addition to the list of entertainment industry events being scrapped, postponed or adapted due to COVID-19 and its recently emerged omicron variant. On Jan. 5, the Sundance Film Festival announced a switch to a virtual format, only weeks before the in-person event was set to begin.