NATPE Budapest Wraps After Four Days of Sessions & Deal-Making


The 2017 edition of NATPE Budapest came to a close today, with a noted uptick in international players attending the event, which is cementing its position as “a truly global market,” according to NATPE President and CEO JP Bommel.

The event drew 400-plus buyers this week to the InterContinental hotel, situated alongside the Danube. Bommel noted that one of the draws for buyers was the bevy of U.S. studios on-site—among them NBC, CBS, Fox, MGM and Lionsgate—that were screening their latest shows. “It’s the first opportunity for the CEE buyers who don’t have the chance to go to the L.A. Screenings to experience the newest content from America,” he said.

“Equally important is the fact that NATPE Budapest is becoming a truly global market, with the presence of big [territories] such as China, Turkey, a lot of European companies, India, Latin America—it is truly global! All of these countries have brought amazing, fresh content. The buyers are delighted because they have the opportunity in their own territory to experience that breadth of new content.”

Bommel also pointed out that rather than buyers coming for just one or two days, many stayed for the whole week—and a handful were still shuffling about the market floor and suites today.

“We hear that deals were done this week,” said Bommel. “Ink was put on paper.”

China and Korea again had dedicated pavilions, and Bommel reported overall growth in exhibitors from Asia. “What’s really growing is the European distributors coming in,” he added.

The conference program this year featured a packed roster of sessions, starting on Monday with a look at windowing in CEE. There were also panels this week on success in co-pros in the region and format insights and strategies.

“We put a lot of effort into what we present,” said Bommel. “We try to be different from just ‘talking heads.’ We want to provide business insights. We want to make sure that every session has a takeaway, that every session is focused on a topic that either speaks to the sellers or the buyers—or both. We want to make sure that the sessions give [attendees] not only insight, but opportunities for deals. There is a lot of engagement during our sessions because a lot of questions are being raised and discussions are sparked, and these carry on into the evening when we do our networking events.”

NATPE is confirmed to return to the InterContinental in Budapest “at the very least for the next couple of years,” Bommel shared. “We love this hotel. Our clients tell us that it works so well for them because it’s very conducive for business and facilitates networking.”

Bommel also championed Budapest as a central hub for the region, which on the whole is seeing a rise in OTT and digital networks, creating greater demand for content. “The takeaway from this market is that the CEE region is growing,” he said, adding that the local production sector continues to get stronger. “It’s a very prolific market.”