I am currently attending MIPCOM 2010, one of the major film markets in the world covering a wide range of industries from animation, broadcast and feature fims, to internet, mobile content and gaming. It is a huge annual event that takes place in one of France’s most beautiful regions near the Mediterranean sea in Cannes, home to the Cannes film festival.
This is the first time that I’m attending this event and I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a series about it that could eventually help other first-timers and would recount some of my personal and business experiences during this trip. I decided to keep these posts flexible andpersonal and just write about the things that I find interesting or helpful. What you will not find here is a professional review of MIPCOM and whether you should attend it or not, because HELL YEAH YOU SHOULD! This is one of the biggest annual events catering to the content production and distribution business and attracts some important heavy weights as well as 13000 companies. This post is rather about my personal experience of the film market. I wanted to call the series ” The Trials and Tribulations of Monsieur Reza at MIPCOM” but I decided against having such a huge title and after reading it once I didn’t even find it funny anymore, so without any further ado I would like to start at the beginning of my journey, the Gare de Lyon in Paris.
This is one of the 5 or 6 principal train stations in Paris that service regional passengers and you can get there by bus, metro or taxi. I decided to take the TGV (Frances high-speed train) to avoid the hassle of taking a taxi to the airport, waiting for an hour at the airport and taking my bloody shoes off everytime I needed to pass through a checkpoint.
Tip no 1: There is a networking event and meeting event for first-timers on the day before the MIPCOM starts about 4 in the afternoon which I didn’t get to in time. Reserve your train ticket online or in one of the main train stations in Paris (if you’re leaving from Paris) and go one day earlier in order to take advantage of this event. It can be very helpful for first-timers and you can even get your badge sooner which will avoid the super long queue on the next morning.
Tip no 2: Pack Light! I didn’t take a lot of clothes except for clean socks and lots of shirts but due to the large amount of brochures that I had and a suitcase the size of a mini-van I had a pretty rough time.. Take one small case like the ones you can take into airplanes, pack in your iPad (preferable with 3G so that you can use it on the train, and not a 5 year old Dell that weighs 25 kilos and an adaptor the size of a George Foreman grill like I did), clean socks, two pairs of shoes (believe me you will walk more than Forest Gump in that place), several clean shirts (take a few summery sleeveless ones, it tends to get hot even in October) and one or two coats. Ditch the tie and wear comfortable shoes.
Tip no.3: There is a small yellow box right in front of the train before you board the train. You need to stick your ticket into it or what the French call “composter les billets”. Lots of people forget to do it and you could get a fine on the train.
Tip no.4: Depending on what time you leave pack a light lunch or dinner or snack if you don’t want to wait at the bar for an hour . A sandwich and a bottle of water will do fine although a bar of chocolate may help you later on in the day; don’t forget it’s a 5 hour ride (5h45 to be exact).
You can read the rest of my adventures and tips in my next post very soon.
Please add any tips, suggestions or experiences you may have had in MIPCOM in the comments. I am sure other people would like to learn from your experiences.