Report – Pizza Express

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 10:59am

The CMC wouldn’t be complete without the Pizza Express evening in Sheffield’s buzzing Devonshire Quarter, as first-timer and blog team volunteer Caleb Bastock discovered.


  • Great pizza
  • Great company
  • These people never stop!


PizzaExpressIt was at Pizza Express, so legend has it, that the idea for the Children’s Media Conference was born. Gathering all the industry together began its journey at table on the ground floor. And it continues to be the venue where ideas spread and relationships blossom. Every year a wide cross-section of delegates convenes at the restaurant to continue their own journeys to turn ideas into reality.

After a hectic day of sessions and workshops, taking in new information and discussing ideas, you might think that delegates would be ready to unwind. On the contrary, everyone stays focused, hoping to meet that one person they didn’t know they needed to, listening out for that idea they never realised they were looking for. This may be the delegate party meal, but the networking is still as spirited as ever.wever to say this gathering is strictly professional would not give it proper justice – there’s anticipation and excitement in the air. Delegates are interested to talk more and to share and connect further. They instinctively play musical chairs as conversation develops, naturally weaving around each other, and, interestingly for me as a newcomer to all this, guiding their colleagues and new friends to the people they really need to see. Writers are meeting producers, voice actors are working their magic with production companies and bloggers are chatting with developers. This whole place is buzzing, the pizza almost an afterthought.

PizzaOf course the pizza was not actually an afterthought, and kudos must be given to the restaurant which, as always, managed to feed so many people all at once. It occurred to me that Pizza is something to share and negotiate. It couldn’t be more appropriate.

Overall the evening captures the energy of the CMC wonderfully, with all the attendees continuing their networking not because they feel they ought to, but because they’re excited to do so. You don’t necessarily need to meet everyone in the room, but every delegate is enthralled in the act, because here is as likely as anywhere to meet your next business partner. The legacy of this particular evening has not been written yet, (more stories for the blog series: “What has the CMC Ever Done For Me?” will surely follow). But we’ve all enjoyed the pleasure of being part of it.

And then, appetites sated, it’s time to sensibly call it a night, ahead of a busy final day.

Wait…Did someone say something about a CMC Party…?

Caleb Bostock has just completed his second year studying English Literature at Sheffield Hallam University .

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