MIP Cancun is now being held at the Grand Fiesta Americana Hotel, a deluxe hotel that replaced The JW Marriott, which became too small for the event. According a local legend, the Grand Fiesta was originally a five-star hotel, but since they turned down the Guatemala Nobel Peace Price winner, Rigoberta Menchú, because of her “peasant’s” attire, the hotel lost one star.

But the hotel has won many stars this week, with over 600 participants from 300 companies  buyers and sellers) who are attending the third edition of MIP Cancun, November 16-18, on the southeastern part of Mexico on the northeast coast of the Yucatán.

The event has four components: Pre-scheduled meetings (nine sessions from 9:45 am to 5:30 pm on day one, 13 sessions on day two and five on day three); the conferences (for a total of 24), four screenings and five summits.

For the pre-scheduled meetings there are 141 tables set up for 135 distribution companies (some are using multiple tables), which in effect, pay for the whole market, since Latin buyers have their expenses paid. Each table costs exhibitors U.S.$5,000 and includes a three-day hotel accommodations. Pre-scheduled meetings last 25 minutes each and are clocked with the sound of a bell, similar to the stock exchange floors. Market organizers (including top-brass from Reed Midem’s Paris headquarters, Laurine Garaude and Ted Baracos, pictured above) are sticklers in assuring that meetings run smoothly and are quick at calling out on the PA system buyers who are late in showing up.

Among the exhibitors there are companies such as A+E, CBS, Fox Networks, Mediaset, Record and Sonar, in addition to a large Mexican presence and, naturally, all of Turkey’s program distributors.

At first glance, and then clearly evident during the evening parties, MIP Cancun is starting to resemble a mini version of the LATAM portion of the L.A. Screenings.

Participants that couldn’t find accommodation at the Grand Fiesta were relocated at the Krystal Grand Punta Cancun, just across the street from the Grand Fiesta.