Pact chief John McVay confirmed the news that after 10 years its UK Indies Pavilion will cease to operate at the markets, as first reported by RealScreen last Friday.
Because Pact gets a government grant for the Pavilion it is required to open it up to all companies – Pact members and non members alike. Over half of the distributors on the MIPCOM stand last month were not part of Pact.
“The ROI for us is membership, and we have spent a lot of time and effort on the stand, and a lot of people have not paid that investment back,” McVay said.
The weakness of the UK pound in the wake of Brexit has also made it more expensive for Pact and other British attendees at the market. It spends about £250,000 on its MIPTV and MIPCOM stands. MIPTV in particular presented a challenge, McVay said, with fewer UK companies wanting to attend, favouring MIPCOM in October.
The Pact boss was clear that its withdrawal from running the market stands did not indicate it was scaling back its international investment, but that it would focus on it Export Accelerator programme, which has had over 270 sign-ups, and includes the trade body’s international trade missions.
“We are focusing on our producer members rather than the distributors, who don’t join,” McVay said. “We will still do things at the market, but we don’t need a stand to do them.”
The industry has also moved on, and Pact is keen to refocus its efforts on helping indie producers in growing international markets.
“It’s not ‘job done’, but when we started the Pavilion a lot of companies had freshly got their international rights,” McVay said. “Ten years on most of our companies are now international.”