NATPE Organizers Boast More Buyers and Conference Growth

Rod Perth Headshot - P 2012

Rod Perth Headshot - P 2012

President and CEO Rod Perth also lays out plans for the 2015 market, which moves to earlier in January.

MIAMI BEACH – With the 2014 NATPE market and conference wrapping up on Wednesday, the organization's president and CEO Rod Perth and chairman Jordan Levin touted growth in attendance and buyers -- though they declined to give any specific numbers.

Perth said the number of buyers increased over last year "by double digits." He added that it was too early to announce final attendance figures, but sources said the count of buyers, sellers and others is expected to be up somewhat from last year, when it was close to 6,000.

NATPE returns to Miami Beach next year, taking place a week earlier than usual. It will run from Tuesday, Jan. 20, through Thursday, Jan. 22. (Traditionally the event has run the week of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from Monday through Thursday.) The move was prompted by hotel availability and a deal with competing event Real Screen in Washington, D.C.

Perth, in his second year with the trade group, said NATPE has become "a big tent" that is relevant for a "quickly moving business." He noted that along with strong representation from domestic syndication distributors and syndicators, there was a rebound in the participation of TV station groups and increased attendance from industry areas including banking, advertising and technology.

NATPE has expanded its board in the past year to increase representation from these other groups. Levin will return as chairman next year when for the first time there will also be a vice chairman: Andy Kaplan of Sony Pictures Television. Levin also pointed to increased attendance by international buyers and from those involved in digital, both areas that the organization targeted when it made the move to South Florida from Las Vegas three years ago.

Perth was also pleased in Samsung coming on board this year. He said it had taken almost two years to get them to commit. "It was not an easy process," said Perth. "We finally got them."

For the first time this year NATPE included a small display of electronic items from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in January. NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association have been working on finding areas in which to partner. This year they did a survey, with part one released during CES and the second part out earlier this week.