Last week, from 12 to 15 June, NEM 2017 media conference for television industry with a special emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe markets took place in Dubrovnik, the city known as the pearl of the Adriatic. This year, NEM celebrated its fifth anniversary by breaking all records in visitor statistics and introducing new aspects to the conference that will certainly help foster new forms of cooperation and improve the quality of television image in Europe and the world.
RECORD FIGURES FOR NEM 2017
A lot has changed since the first NEM in 2013, but one thing has remained constant during the years, the NEM vision. At the time of its conception, there were no other media conferences anywhere in CEE region capable of presenting a wide range of interesting and relevant information while focusing on TV markets, as well as providing networking and cooperation opportunities in different aspects of the industry.
The figures for this year’s event prove that over the years, NEM has been successful in accomplishing this vision and its mission. Many of the over 800 participants who visited NEM this year stressed the special qualities of the conference that we strive to preserve and improve year after year; an open, relaxed atmosphere conducive to exploring new business opportunities and substantial panels offering extremely important information. Fifty-three professionals with highest credentials in the television industry shared their expertise freely with audiences at NEM panels and special presentations. The audience, together with the featured panelists, has proved to be an important creative factor in providing new opportunities for business and professional growth. This year, the visitors at NEM that came from all continents and 50 different countries provided an abundance of diverse experiences and a wealth of local practices, as demonstrated by questions from the audience at Q&A sessions and the communication between visitors at networking events.
From the very start, NEM has striven to finance the conference organization costs independently, but it would have been impossible to reach this level of excellence and this audience size without help from NEM’s reliable friends and sponsors. This year, over 30 sponsors chose to trust and support NEM to the best of their ability, working together with the organizational committee to help create another success story. You can check photos from NEM 2017 here.
TOP PROFESSIONALS AND INSPIRING STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
NEM 2017 featured a number of extraordinary panels and presentations that were seen as inspiring and learning opportunities. We loved Izzet Pinto, founder and president of Global Agency, who delighted the audience with his inspiring story on the humble beginnings of his own agency which has become one of the most important independent television format distributors. Mr. Pinto’s presentation certainly served to prove the old adage that he who falls will rise again and that hard work and risk taking are worth the effort as long as you maintain your belief in “go big or go home“. Details of his amazing success story can be found in an interview:
Another panel that created great interest among the guests, aptly called “You Can’t Stop Me: The Power of TV channels”, featured some of the most impressive experts present at this year’s NEM, including Karin Heijink, Content and Product Vicepresident at Viasat World Limited; John Rossiter, General Manager for Central Europe at Sony Pictures Television Networks; Victoria Davies, Senior Vicepresident and Country Manager at Discovery Networks for Central and Eastern Europe; Michael Moriarty, President of AMCNI for Central Europe; and Bartosz Witak, Senior Vicepresident and General Manager at Viacom International Media Networks for Central and Eastern Europe and Israel. The joint conclusion of the panel speakers was that we could never have too many channels and that the real problem was that we did not have enough quality content channels in the market. The speakers reiterated that the market ought to make sure to offer fresh, clear, relevant and interesting content attractive for the viewer.
Another intriguing panel was dedicated to Free To Air channels and the TV audience preference for this type of channel. Several leaders of national television organisations from CEE countries explained the success of free channels, including Krešimir Bačić of Croatian Radiotelevision, Petr Dvorak from Czech Television, Matthias Settele of Slovak TV Markiza, and Pete Smith, Director of Antenne International. Free service will continue to make FTA channels a popular viewing choice, and extra efforts should be taken for channels to survive in the media market that continues to grow by the day. In a special interview for NEM YouTube channel, Matthias Settele explained how channels of this type managed to survive through turbulent times by creating formats.
And last but not least, an important panel took place on the subject of production revival in Croatia with Ms Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, as the special guest. At the panel, Ms Obuljen Koržinek was able to confirm that new legislation was being drafted to coordinate EU legislation with the legislation of the Republic of Croatia, and that on the basis of this new legislation, more funds would be allocated to the audiovisual sector to promote a better cooperation between independent producers and Croatian Radiotelevision.
Besides panels, NEM also offered exclusive screening opportunities in NEM Showroom, private screening arenas where visitors were offered an opportunity to see new formats from leading distributors, including Global Agency, FreemantleMedia, Lionsgate, BBC Worldwide, but also Robert Knjaz’s Redneck and Sons, a local production company, as another NEM goal has been to bring together local and European producers and offer international producers an opportunity to meet representatives of the Croatian and regional media scene.
ABUNDANT NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
NEM is not only about panels, the conference has proved to be a great opportunity for great networking. Small networking events included popular coffee breaks sponsored by Nescafé, Mediavision, Akamaia, NBCUniversal, Mediatranslations and Discovery Networks, but real large-scale networking took place in the evening. The most exclusive and the most attractive evening event was certainly the beautiful Pickbox Welcome Drink party staged on the roof of Dubrovnik Palace hotel, including a private Q&A session with US actor Michael Weatherly and Antonija Mandić as his hostess. Eutelsat, long-time sponsor of NEM and NEM 2017 sponsor used their networking night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of cooperation with Fashion TV with a very special fashion show for their invited guests. FOX Networks Group closed the NEM evening event series with a superb party at Lazareti, where their numerous guests could both talk business and let their hair down dancing to the great music.
NEM 2017 has shown us many things, the most important being that in order to stay in the market, you need to be creative, fresh and relevant, and always pay attention to the viewer. We can’t wait to see how much more we can learn next year and therefore, see you at NEM 2018!