City to host global conference

Lord David Puttnam speaking at the official opening of Academy 360, Pennywell.
Lord David Puttnam speaking at the official opening of Academy 360, Pennywell.

THE Children’s Media Conference will be hosting the first ever visit to Britain of children’s media businesses from China and Argentina next week.

A delegation of 20 will arrive in Sheffield on Tuesday and will take part in business one-to-one meetings and attend the conference’s co-production workshop on the Wednesday.

The Chinese delegation run animation companies and operate children’s TV channels, including the national children’s channel CCTVKids, which has 150 million children viewers. There are also representatives from web-portals for children and young people including the China Youth Network.

UK broadcasters see China as an increasingly important market, said Greg Childs, editorial director of CMC. “There’s a prediction by SNL Kagan (media analysts) that with pay TV sales this year of $7.5 billion China is set to surpass Japan as the largest multi-channel market in Asia and people are starting to look seriously in that direction.

“The great thing for the delegation is that by coming to the conference they will meet all the big UK broadcasters and the distributors and production companies, the small interactive and animation companies, and even individual customers in the same context. That’s our unique selling point and is recognised by UK Trade and Investment who have organised the first children’s creative and business mission to the UK.

“It’s great that it’s all happening in Sheffield and there’s an opportunity for interactive and animation companies in Yorkshire, especially if they get there early on Wednesday before the delegates arrive from London.”

There is also a delegation attending from Argentina, the third exporter in the world of TV progammes after US and UK.

The Children’s Media Conference, based at the Showroom from Wednesday to Friday, is the leading gathering for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing kids’ content across all platforms.

Headline speakers include Lord Puttnam, who will deliver this year’s keynote speech, Michael Acton Smith, MD of Mind Candy and creator of the Moshi Monsters phenomenon, and Rory Sutherland, executive creative director of OgilvyOne and president of the IPA.

Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Children’s, will be discussing the BBC’s move to Salford, and a session will explore the history of award-winning brand Horrible Histories – From Manuscript to Multiplatform.