A scene from last year's Asia TV Forum

This year, the Asia TV Forum (ATF) will take place December 7-9 at a brand new location. The third in its 12 years: the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore.

VideoAge , which will be exhibiting at ATF, caught up with Reed Exhibitions’ Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director of ATF 2011, for more information on the annual Reed Exhibitions event.

VideoAge: How many people are you expecting at this year’s event?
Yeow Hui Leng: We expect to attract 3,500 attendees from around the region and internationally. Based on last year’s success, we are pleased to host group delegations from China, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Spain this year.

Last year, we brought together more than 850 companies from over 53 countries, an overall 15 percent increase in the number of participating companies compared to the previous edition. To date, we have confirmed a very promising attendance and we expect the numbers to rise as we edge closer to the event.

VAI:  Anything new for this year’s edition?
In line with our theme of “Evolve, Explore and Experience,”one of the most exciting changes this year will be the new venue. MBS is a premium entertainment destination in Asia and it will offer a truly exciting meeting experience for our participants. Being one of Asia’s latest exhibition venues, MBS is well-positioned to cater to our expansion, as we see increased participation regionally and globally.

Event highlights this year includes the inaugural ATF French film screening organized in partnership with Unifrance Films, where we expect more than 20 French film distributors and key theatrical buyers from the region.

ATF will also host conference sessions that zoom in on rising territories and the latest industry trends. This includes spotlight sessions on China, Malaysia and Asia Animation, the Media Leaders’ forum and a format keynote session organized in collaboration with Mipformats.

VAI: Are there certain territories that are beginning to have a larger presence at the Asia TV Forum? Are there new Asian territories opening up to foreign content?
This year, we are excited to welcome an increase in overall territorial participation. China will be represented by a bigger and stronger delegation on the market floor at this year’s event. Fuelled by a rising Asia in terms of demand for content and production, we are also seeing increased buyer participation from the region including Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan with new entries such as Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and New Zealand.

For the first time, France has confirmed a second delegation under Unifrance to promote French cinema to Asia. In line with the new addition, distributors can look forward to meeting more film buyers at the ATF this year.

VAI: What kinds of programming are most popular amongst buyers at ATF?
Genres like animation and children’s programs always bridge well across regions and they remain the most popular among buyers at our event. With a globalized world, content which are already universal in appeal do all the better, rising above language and cultural differences.

Next on the list will be dramas. With their soft and easy-to-digest content, they have wide support among the general Asian viewers. Formats, which can be easily adapted across borders into successful local programs, also remain popular among our buyers.

VAI: Why is it beneficial for a foreign distributor to attend ATF?
Into the 12th edition, ATF has established itself as a credible platform for the international community to meet and network in an Asian setting.

Foreign distributors can look forward to meeting a diverse group of Asian buyers from broadcasters and network operators to content distributors and new media buyers. They will be able to find new buyers with real purchasing power who might not be exposed to international markets. It helps that ATF offers close proximity to their operations in Asia.

ATF is geographically positioned in Asia to offer buyers shorter travel time to an international market. In addition to its accessibility, ATF also offers a good spread of Asian content and co-production possibilities.