Clear signs of NATPE’s revival came from the large number of parties and the increased number of show dailies. Even though officially there were 10 parties, in actuality, the number of recreational activities swelled to 20, with some described as “large private events.”
The celebration actually started on Saturday and expanded on Sunday, even before the opening day on Monday. Festivites closed on Wednesday, the market’s last day, with some four parties, Disney hosting the largest.
In terms of show dailies, in addition to VideoAge’s and NATPE’s three dailies, Extra Extra reappeared with just one edition. This is a far cry from when NATPE used to support five show dailies, but a huge improvement from NATPE 2010, when only VideoAge came out with two daily editions distributed to all participants hotel rooms.
In the front cover story of VideoAge’s Day 3 Daily, Warner Bros. was characterized in a way that gave the impression that Warner Bros. was not officially part of the NATPE market. Indeed, Warner Bros. had the largest representation of all U.S. studios and a meeting suite in the Versailles Wing of the official Fontainebleau Hotel. As the photo on the cover of VideoAge Day 3 Daily attested, at NATPE, Warner Bros. also had the largest contingent from its Latin American TV division.
The talk of NATPE was the re-emergence of Dick Robertson, the former head of Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, who in 1998 declared NATPE virtually dead and spread the idea of hosting a separate TV trade show. At NATPE in Miami Beach, Robertson represented Brazil’s TV Globo. In 2007, Robertson first returned to NATPE to be saluted as a TV distribution leader.
VideoAge received an illuminating letter from Lew Klein, one of NATPE’s founding fathers, who explained that it wasn’t the second time that NATPE was in Miami Beach, but the third.
The very first time was February 12-16, 1977 for the 14th annual NATPE at the Plaza Hotel. With the letter, Klein attached the conference budget, which amounted to $95,200 or $342,555 in today’s dollars.
In its NATPE 2011 Issue and Daily, VideoAge erroneously reported that the market had been in Miami Beach for the first time in 1994 at the Convention Center (then it was still solely large floor booths), when in fact it was the second time in the Florida city and the third with the past NATPE.
In the MIP Issue, VideoAge will outline a solution for NATPE’s elevator problem that will not sacrifice the suite approach to exhibiting and keep NATPE at the “bleau.”
NATPE organizers will plan to announce whether the market will return to the Fontainbleau — and to Miami in general — by next week.