Over 14,000 participants are expected at this fall's MipJunior and MIPCOM, which take place in their traditional Cannes, France, setting from October 15-20. As recently as three years ago, 13,000 participants was considered a record number.
The number of exhibitors is also growing. This year, out of 2,000-plus exhibiting companies, more than 30 are new, and all are occupying 24,100 sqm of exhibition space (last year, it was 23,705 sqm), which extends from the old port (exhibiting on anchored boats) to the opposite side at the end of the gardens.
In recent years, the six floors of the Palais have been completely filled up with stands, and exhibitors have had to expand to the beach and on the pathways heading to the Palais. Conceivably, there isn't any more room to expand. And yet new exhibitors demand spaces and established exhibitors ask for more space.
The increasing number of participants is also straining Cannes' accommodation inventory, which consists mostly of about 100 hotels with 5,500 rooms. The overflow is moving into the private residential market and into hotels in 12 surrounding towns, located at distances varying from Le Cannet at 1.97 Km away, to Biot, located 10 Km away. These moves, however, cut into some of the MIPCOM organizers (Reed Midem) income from hotel rooms' markups, while still costing them to run shuttle buses to and from various towns (Reed Midem has agreements only with some of the private apartments rental agencies).
Analyzing Reed Midem's tea leaves for MIPCOM, the strategy seems to be to grow the number of participants by offering more seminars and more side events that don't require more exhibition space. These added participants, paying the equivalent of U.S.$1,500 per badge, could bring in more than $500,000 of income to Reed Midem.
This year in particular, due to enhanced security, before entering key hotels, people have to show either the MIPCOM badge or the hotel key, a procedure that will drastically diminish the number of industry execs who get by without registering.
And, talking about security, Reed Midem has also addressed the concern of those companies that are exhibiting facing the seaside with potential danger coming from boats and swimmers.
As for the number of exhibitors, more than increasing them, the strategy seems to leverage their booth space at MIPCOM for their presence at MIP-TV, which represents such a challenge that Reed Midem's parent company, Reed Exhibition, last spring...