MIPCOM preps for Cannes return as Reed Midem unveils Covid-19 strategy


MIPCOM organiser Reed Midem has revealed how the 2020 edition of its sprawling content market will look in October and provided details of a raft of Covid-19 prevention measures being introduced.

Reed Midem’s TV director Laurine Garaude admitted to industry podcast Tellycast that delegates would find a “different” MIPCOM in Cannes this year, with organisers working with industry bodies, Cannes officials and the French government to deliver the event.

Garaude, who is now working from her office in Paris again following an easement of lockdown restrictions in France, said that “Europe is doing much better now” and added that confirmation from the French government that trade events in excess of 5,000 people would be allowed after 1 September was not “a surprise but good to have.”

“Everything is looking very good in that sense and it’s now about getting ourselves back – not to normal, but the new normal and defining what that is,” Garaude said of MIPCOM, which is slated for October 12-15.

Laurine Garaude

Palais protocols & parties

MIPCOM organisers Reed Midem has been working with counterparts across parent Reed Exhibitions to share knowledge around practices, Garaude added, and the event will offer a hybrid of both physical and virtual elements.

“We are working together as a large group to define how to create and run trade shows in this new normal. It is not an independent effort but a collective pulling of experiences from around the world and working with trade bodies, medical experts and of course different governments,” she said, highlighting a raft of new measures.

Delegates in Cannes will be met with numerous changes at the Palais, with different entrances and exits created to ensure social distancing and more club/lounge space being introduced.

Traffic flow across the exhibition hall will be regulated, conferences will be run at 50% capacity, facemasks are likely to be mandatory for all attendees, and conference halls will be disinfected after every session.

Delegates will be expected to respect a one metre social distancing policy across the venue, which Garaude said would be “rigorously” enforced, and there will also be expanded cleaning procedures across the site, with hand sanitiser widely available.

“We are also developing a print at home badge so people don’t have to queue,” Garaude said, with the focus on allowing meetings to take place safely. She added that Reed Midem is waiting for “validation from the [French] government” on its own regulations, adding that MIPCOM “rules” could be stricter than official guidelines.

Big parties and gatherings will not take place, but Garaude said MIPCOM was looking at smaller formats “to see what can be done outside.” She added that further developments were likely, with Reed Midem continuing to explore how outdoor space could be used.

Coming to Cannes & vacant rooms

Garaude said that she hoped to make the most of Cannes’ non-urban setting, which “allows for a lot of outside space, given good weather” and added that Reed Midem had been working closely with both Palais and Cannes officials on plans for making the most of outdoor events.

A document providing extensive detail on both Palais guidelines and those covering the City of Cannes is due in the coming weeks, Garaud added, which will also cover protocols for hotels, restaurants and taxis.

Garaude said initial proposals would see social distancing taking place across all hotels, with rooms remaining vacant for 24 hours between check out and new occupancy.

“There’ll be online check in, facemarks for staff and increased cleaning,” she added, with limits on those using lifts at any one time and social distancing throughout. Taxi’s are installing plexi-glass and sanitising gels will also be available.

Virtual experience

The Reed Midem exec added that MIPCOM ONLINE+, a virtual portal introduced for MIPTV following its cancellation in March, would also enable those unable to travel to take part.

“Many buyers are signing up, but some territories may not be able to travel – the US and those in Lat Am for instance. Hopefully things will improve by then but assuming it is not possible, we are being flexible and are in the midst of creating MIPCOM ONLINE+ to enrich the experience for those in Cannes and for those not able to be there to access the market.”

Garaude admitted MIPCOM was “learning how” to make the event virtual, adding that there would be a “very big content showcase” online featuring content from exhibitors. “They will have virtual room to highlight programmes they will present at MIPCOM, and it will be accessible to everyone, both those in Cannes and those not.”

Conference programming will be available in parallel online, with world premieres, global upfronts and keynote speeches also accesible to virtual guests. “The focus is on sales and an ability to do business, to have the maximum connections to help buyers discover new content and distributors to show new content across all genres,” Garaude said.

“The whole industry is having to adapt and find new ways of working,” she continued, adding that she expected people to travel less and focus on the “most efficient events.”

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