VideoAge's first impression of the Moon Palace Resort, which this year housed the fourth edition of MIP Cancun, was that it was overwhelmingly large. The complex has three huge properties, each with 10 or more buildings for the room accommodations.
MIP Cancun's complex was called "Sunrise," and was adjacent to the Moon Palace Arena and the Expo Center, where all MIP Cancun functions took place.
Visitors were provided with maps, which at first sight resembled those that were used for WWII's Normandy Invasion. However, visitors quickly learned not to follow them (or to rely on directions present on various paths), but rather to use their own navigational instincts to more quickly reach the "Sunrise" lobby.
Although the three-day market officially began on Wednesday, November 15, most participants arrived a day early, which helped them get oriented, as well as allowed them to attend a "pre-opening" drinks reception sponsored by Turkey's Calinos.
Sitting at the lobby bar, Rosalind Rotundo, who was exhibiting with Miami-based VIP 2000 TV, marveled at how everything--including drinks and food--was included in the MIP Cancun registration fee of about U.S.$5,000 for one "Distribution Meeting" table and one person. (If two people wanted to take meetings at the table, it would have cost an additional U.S.$2,000.)
Some exhibitors compared the event to NATPE Miami, which is considerably more expensive. But considering the larger number of buyers in attendance at the Miami event, most said that the higher NATPE costs are balanced out by the larger number of meetings scheduled with buyers during the January market.
Also, even though "all-inclusive" is a good concept, in actuality it sometimes proved challenging, since Moon Palace hotel guests were given different hospital-style wristbands, color-coded according to the complex where they were staying. This meant that if someone housed at "Sunrise" wished to go to a restaurant in "The Grand" (another part of the Moon Palace), different colored wristbands were needed (at a cost of an extra U.S.$200 per day). However, to use the facilities in the third complex, the "Nizuc," the "Sunrise" wristband did work. The wristband ID system did not sit well with most participants.
On the market side, the guide listed 422 companies from 45 countries, but failed to specify whether they were sellers or buyers. According to Ted Baracos, MIP Cancun's director, there were 160 buyers in attendance. Among the most surprising...