While in the West the number of new film-TV trade shows is leveling off, in the East, Middle East and Far East, that number seems to be increasing by the month – an indication that those territories can support this growth.
The new market in town is the MediaHub Market, which will take place May 29 and 30 in Bangkok, Thailand.
We caught up with Dimitri Mendjisky, general manager of MediaHub Market for the scoop on this brand-new event, which aims to support new and emerging media players around the world (and in Asia specifically).
VideoAge International: What makes MediaHub Market different than other television markets?
Dimitri Mendjisky: What makes us different is we are not in competition with other existing media trade shows.
MediaHub Market is not yet “another” market. Our mission is to serve and support as many new and emerging media players as possible, who are primarily producers, buyers and broadcasters from the emerging countries, in order to ensure that they are connected with the rest of the world.
I am strongly convinced that we are supporting the future media leaders… and in Asia the future is already today.
VAI: What was the impetus behind starting the market?
DM: This project was built around a simple observation: the emerging media players are not connected with the leading ones and vice versa! They have little or no chance to interact.
On one hand, the budgets allocated to program acquisition are very low in the region, especially in South-East Asia. It is therefore not economically viable for European or American content providers to justify travel to the region and visit each country to sell their content. But they need to reach out to the emerging markets as time’s changing!
On the other hand, for our local emerging actors, they simply lack the possibility to network worldwide. It is also very costly for them to attend the existing markets. And without the necessary network, they cannot guarantee a return on investment when participating in such markets.
How many times have I witnessed the disappointment some of our members experience following their participation in a “big” media trade show… without network, without assistance in setting up meetings, without the right information, it’s really challenging to do business!
All audiovisual content producers and broadcasters are looking for cost-effective ways to expand their business in the international market and to better expose their brand worldwide. Easier said than done.
Consequently, we decided to create proper and efficient tools so as to meet our members’ expectations: first we launch our online B2B platform dedicated to networking, then we created media specific publications and finally the MediaHub Market.
VAI: Isn’t it difficult to start a brand new market when there are so many others (including markets that focus on Asia)?
DM: Yes and no. Yes, because it’s always challenging to create a new event. No, because as soon as we explained what we are doing, media professionals immediately came on board. To date, at approximately 100 days to the Market, we are 95% full.
VAI: How did you choose the spring dates?
DM: We are partners with the AIBD (Asia-Pacific Institute for Development). AIBD has been organizing the AMS since 2004. The AMS is an annual conference, which unites CEO’s and other top officials from private and public broadcasting organizations mostly from Asia Pacific emerging media markets [it will take place concurrent to MediaHub].
It therefore made sense to organize the Mediahub Market in conjunction with the AMS.
In addition, the AMS is an itinerant event, which offers our members the added value of having the opportunity to meet up and link up every year in various places in Asia. For instance, we’ll be in Bali for the 2013 edition.
VAI: Does it concern you that the dates coincide with the L.A. Screenings?
DM: Actually Mediahub Market is organized back to back with the L.A Screenings, which ends on 25th May. Some of our exhibitors will attend both events and fly directly from L.A to Bangkok. For some others, it is challenging to attend both even if they would have liked to. However, and as I said earlier, the target audience is totally different, and you will not meet the same media players in Bangkok as in L.A.
VAI: Who is the market’s organizer?
DM: Mediahub is a brand operated by Global Media Centre for Development (GMCD), a Kuala Lumpur-based company and joint venture with the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), a unique regional inter-governmental organization servicing countries from Asia-Pacific in the field of media development.
GMCD and AIBD are behind the market. For the 1st edition, which will be organized in conjunction with the Asia Media Summit (AMS) on 29-30 May 2012 in Bangkok, we partnered with ThaiPBS, the first public service broadcasters in Thailand, who will host the event.
VAI: How many attendees have registered so far?
DM: The buyers/participants registration has only just been opened a couple of days ago on our website so we don’t have any figures at this time.
However and as I said earlier, our exhibition space is almost fully booked.
VAI: How many attendees do you expect?
DM: In 2012, we are expecting a minimum of 700 participants representing over 120 broadcasting organizations from more than 60 countries, mostly from the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Arab World.
Regarding the exhibition space itself, we have intentionally limited the number of exhibitors, as our objective is to create a privileged and ideal context for our participants and buyers to discuss and do business together. We’ll welcome a maximum of 45 exhibiting companies.
VAI:Which countries do you expect to have the largest presence in terms of sellers and buyers?
DM: We are going to have a lot of countries represented bringing a number of sellers and buyers. But if I have to list the largest, I would say China & the SAR, Malaysia, France, Indonesia, Korea, Pacific islands (Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu…), Myanmar, Maldives, Mongolia, Netherlands, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Arabic countries…
VAI: What are your goals for the market?
DM: Our main goal is to support buyers to buy and sellers to sell! The aim is for all parties to expand their networks.
As I said above, the size of the market is limited. This enables us, on the one hand, to assist each exhibitor so they can optimize their presence at the market, and on the other, to personally advise our buyer/participants on what’s on offer in terms of content, who is interested in what, so that all parties can sign deals together.
This is made possible as we personally accompany both our exhibitors and buyers before, during and after the market. For example, we offer numerous communication and marketing tools for our both exhibitors and buyers via our Mediahub Access and Mediahub Market sites, so everyone has a clear idea of who is who, and what type of content is needed.
VAI: What kinds of companies do you expect to attend?
DM: We expect approximately more than 190 companies. From the buyers/participants side, companies will mostly be public and private broadcasters mainly from Asia-Pacific emerging media markets. From the exhibitors’ side, companies will mostly be distributors, broadcasters and producers from all around the world.