Beth Braen is Senior VP, marketing at NATPE. As the programming market conducts a major makeover of its Budapest event, she spoke to Chris Dziadul.
Q. What attracted NATPE to Central and Eastern Europe and Discop East in particular?
A. NATPE has acquired DISCOP East in Budapest as part of a focused international expansion that will benefit our clients by allowing a consistent relationship throughout the year. NATPE has for the past six years partnered with BasicLead on DISCOP East and the time is right for us to take full organisational and managerial responsibility for the event. We’ve rebranded the market NATPE||Budapest as a companion to our highly successful Miami-based international content market, held January 28-30, 2013.
Q. How would you like to see the event, now known as NATPE Budapest develop? Will it have the same format as previously or a new one?
A. NATPE is committed to a seamless transition. We are eager to ensure that the well-organised experience participants have come to expect from the DISCOP market continues to be met and exceeded. We are not making any major changes this year as the main focus is to learn and understand the needs of the buyers and sellers that attend. Based on our findings after this year, we will look at how the event can evolve to make it as productive and efficient as possible for everyone.
The main goal for NATPE Budapest is the same as it is with all of our events: organise a successful market that results in the maximum amount of networking and business deals possible.
Q. In terms of geographic reach, will NATPE Budapest be dedicated solely to Central and Eastern Europe or will it expand to also include other countries (eg in Central Asia)?
A. We’ve been pleased by the interest from buyers and sellers from around the globe. New sellers from India, the Middle East, Asia and Russia have come on board this year. Currently we have 135 total exhibitors from 30 countries signed up.
At the same time we expect this to be a localised market with buyers generally from Central & Eastern Europe. Currently we have almost 300 buyers from 36 countries already signed up including from not only the CEE but also Russia and Ukraine, Asia, Western Europe the Middle East and the US
Q. What role do you envisage for NATPE in Europe? Will NATPE Budapest be the first step in what will become a wider involvement in the region?
A. NATPE was created as a non-profit trade organisation back in 1964. In 2013, we will celebrate our 50th year. NATPE began as a marketplace for domestic US buyers and sellers of TV content mostly for broadcast TV stations. Over the past decade, NATPE has transformed into the number one US-based global multiplatform video content marketplace. Now, with NATPE Miami in January and NATPE Budapest in June, we connect over 6,500 TV professionals in a vibrant, transactional, global year-round marketplace. NATPE added “Contest First” to its name two years ago, allowing us to better expand and conform to the new realities of the digital marketplace.
No decisions on expansion or wider involvement will be made until after the new CEO is named and we have an opportunity to evaluate this year from a strategic standpoint.