NATPE Budapest — formerly known as Discop — has been given the American treatment. While most of the differences are subtle, the NATPE touch is certainly being felt here in Hungary.

NATPE’s traditional PR service, The Lippin Group, is in attendance (a first for any PR company at such and event), as is NATPE’s top gun, brand new CEO Rod Perth.

NATPE Budapest has, for now, lost its conference component (strangely since it’s a quintessential element of NATPE) and now the organizers are evaluating whether they’re necessary.

Now for the numbers: 190 exhibitors are in attendance from 36 countries. The largest presence comes from the U.K. followed by the U.S. and a distant France. There’s also been a strong exhibitor showing from Turkey (with 9 companies in attendance), South Korea (10) and Canada (12).

Exhibition spaces at the Sofitel Hotel in the Pest part of Budapest are scattered throughout six areas, utilizing the first three floors of the hotel down to the basement level where the registration area is also located.

There’s also been a big resurgence in Latin companies at NATPE Budapest, with nine companies exhibiting (up from five last year), and the presence of top-level executives like TV Azteca/Comarex’s Marcel Vinay Jr. of Mexico.

Reportedly there are 430 buyers attending the market, though a few distributors complain that the studios (which have a strong presence here) are taking some buyers out of the market area for screenings.

Organizers responded by pointing out that all studio screenings were held in nearby locations within walking distance of the Sofitel, and that those screening rooms never held more than 40 buyers at a time.

Back to NATPE’s new CEO. Perth has been very active, saying he’s hoping to meet every person who has invested in NATPE. “I’m here to listen,” he said.

It’s a comment he later reiterated during a brief speech at the opening afternoon party, which, for the first time, was held at the Sofitel and sponsored by MTVA, the new Hungarian state radio-TV organization.

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