Preview – The CMC International Exchange
CMC International Exchange Exec. Helen McAleer and CMC China Connect Exec.Sarah Baynes want to encourage everyone with content, IP, ideas and talent to sell, to attend the world’s friendliest kids’ media market.
I am so happy to be hosting the CMC International Exchange again this year on 2 July. It will be odd not to be rushing about in the Victorian splendour of Sheffield Town Hall, but we won’t let a global pandemic stop us from putting on this incredibly useful and fun event! Online face-to-face meetings are clearly working – even for pitching at media markets.
Of course it hasn’t been without its challenges. But with our incredible management and technical team we are delighted to be virtually welcoming back lots of old friends and the online “venue” means we’ve been able to attract some new faces to this year’s event too. We have buyers from most major broadcasters and distributors throughout the world including the BBC, PBS, Nickelodeon, ITV, Channel 5, Di Agostini, Wildbrain and Nine Story. We can’t wait to see them all on 2 July.
For the sellers, CMC International Exchange remains a first class place to start your market journey, or indeed pick up funding partners. The meeting Mojo system allows you to profile yourself and explain why you are attending. That speeds up the meeting request process because the buyers also profile themselves so both parties can see what’s on offer and where real interest is likely to be found. Booking and scheduling meetings is also tightly organised. Sellers can apply for meetings, buyers cannot. That means for the day to be productive buyers need to respond to the meeting requests, then they can be assured of a full schedule. Mojo creates that schedule – and the new twist is that it also makes the connection between the two parties and places the video link in the schedule. It couldn’t be simpler.
And this year the market will run from 8am to 8pm to accommodate the different time zones of the various buyers around the world.
“I look forward to the International Exchange each year for the chance to meet wonderful creators and learn about the studios I wouldn’t otherwise. I love having the chance to see what’s going on in the UK and picking up on new preschool trends. And of course it is great to see old friends and former colleagues between pitches” Linda Simensky, VP of Children’s Programming at PBS, USA
“CMC International Exchange is a great opportunity to meet a wonderfully wide range of Industry professionals, from long established companies, to individual producers and creatives just starting out in the industry. I always see some unique and distinctive projects, and come away with interesting new contacts, feeling much enthused.” Jo Allen, Producer, BBC Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation
The China Connect initiative CMC launched early in 2020 continues to grow, with its market dayl very much a pilot for the International Exchange. We tested both the technology and the interest of Chinese producers, buyers etc. In fact we were a bit overwhelmed at the response in April, so we committed to welcome people back in the summer. That has more than doubled the number of Chinese buyers at the International Exchange this year. There are companies from a wide range of sectors signed up. They are looking for different skillsets, genres and IP. They are very much open for business, and for collaboration with UK partners and talent . The China-UK co-production treaty and the Dept for International Trade’s work in China give the UK something of an advantage. DIT have China high on their agenda and can support anyone venturing into business there.
There are several UK/China projects underway as a result of previous CMC events and more potential deals are coming through since the spring. Whether you have a toy brand, you are a writer, a pre-school IP owner, are looking at product for an older audience, for educational purposes, or developing ideas for tech – there will be someone there for you. The International Exchange is a great place to get to know colleagues across the globe and especially in China, to build friendships as well as commercial and creative understanding. As an aside – A top tip for anyone new is to ensure you have downloaded WeChat and know your ID so that you can continue the conversation afterwards. It will need to be downloaded in advance and you’ll need someone who already has WeChat to verify your account within a minutes of you applying to join. There’s no chat without WeChat in China..
And for in depth intel on he animation scene in China – look at the Focus On… China video we’ve made for CMC 2020 Online – you can view it in the VoD content list.
Some thoughts from our Chinese guests…
“CMC’s International Exchange is fantastic way for companies based in China to connect with successful and up-and-coming talent across the UK. We have enjoyed meeting talented writers, artists and studios both in person at Sheffield as well as online through the CMC China Connect, and find it incredibly valuable.” Trevor Lai, CEO & Creative Director, Up Studios
“I’m really glad that I took part at the CMC International Exchange as I got to meet many children’s content creators and distributors. This year the virtual format will actually enable me to do more meetings than in a physical event! We are looking for good international animation IP with potential in China, and we’ve already identified a few of such through CMC China Connect.. Very much looking forward to the next CMC International Exchange!” Jean Dong, CEO, Zespa Media
CMC International Exchange: 2 July 2020 8am-8pm BST