By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

CTAM Europe was launched by European cable executives in 2004 as the European arm of CTAM, the Alexandria, Virginia-based Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing. CTAM Europe is a Switzerland-based, non-profit professional membership organization for European cable operators, and has more than 300 members. The company organizes various networking events and educational marketing workshops throughout the year, however their flagship event is the EuroSummit. The fifth annual conference, which will take place September 25-26 in Berlin, will bring together hundreds of European cable executives to discuss best practices and effective marketing approaches. VideoAge spoke with CTAM Europe managing director Krisztina Homolay to find out what to expect from EuroSummit 2008.

VideoAge International: Who is the EuroSummit for?

Krisztina Homolay: European cable executives, programmers, vendors and cable industry service providers who would like to learn more about cable marketing. The EuroSummit is two full days that focus completely on marketing best practices, customer experiences, multi-platform opportunities, and other issues relevant to the industry that will help cable operators stay alive in face of so much competition in the European market.

VAI: Why did you choose to hold the event in Berlin this year?

Every year we choose a different city in Europe. In the past we have hosted the EuroSummit in Budapest, Zurich, Prague, Barcelona, and now Berlin. When we are choosing a location, it is important to have a large cable presence in that given country. We’re already looking at locations for the 2009 and 2010 editions.

VAI: How many people do you expect will attend the event this year?

KH: Last year, we had about 300 people representing 80 companies from 25 countries at the EuroSummit. We expect the numbers to be similar this year. It’s not a very large conference and we’re happy to keep it as it is, a small educational event, and not to make it into a big moneymaking machine. Our main goal is to give attendees valuable information that they can apply to their businesses.

VAI: With so many TV events taking place in the fall — including MIPCOM, SPORTELMonaco, the Florida Media Market and the American Film Market — how do you hope to stand out?

KH: We are the only cable marketing organization in Europe, therefore our program is not competing with any other industry events. In addition to learning and sharing best practices, we also focus on networking opportunities during our event. During coffee breaks, lunch breaks, cocktail receptions, as well as our informal gala party, there is plenty of time to mingle with industry executives. It’s especially good for someone who just joined the industry. It’s a great place to meet people.

VAI: What’s new at the upcoming EuroSummit 2008?

KH: Every year we try to spice up our conference program with something different. Last year, we had a session on new media usage by teenagers and invited teens from the American School in Barcelona so attendees could receive information first-hand from teens. This year, we’ll be having a session entitled “Insight From Other Industries: How Customer Experience Can Help to Retain Customers,” in which marketing execs can learn from other industries about branding and customer care. We also invite different keynote speakers, representing different sides of the cable industry to give their perspectives. It’s this kind of out-of-the-box thinking that sets EuroSummit apart from other cable industry events.