2008 Highlights

With over 600 delegates from 25 countries in attendance, the 2008 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in Florence, Italy, was a resounding success. This year’s Congress was particularly enriched by a strong presence from the host country: close to 100 Italian delegates attended, including representatives from RAI, Mediaset, Fox Channels Italy and numerous independent producers from across the country.

The three day event featured blockbuster panels, such at the BATTLE OF THE BRANDS with Steve Burns (Executive Vice President, Content, National Geographic) and John Ford (President and General Manager, Discovery Channel), the always informative opening plenary WHAT’S THE BUZZ, and CLEVER PLEASURE: IN CONVERSATION WITH JANICE HADLOW (Controller, BBC Two). Additionally, hundreds of one-on-one Speed Dating meetings were arranged between independent producers and broadcasters and robust Meet the Network and Meet the CE/Funders strands facilitated over 40 intimate sessions with key decision makers.

The better than 2-to-1 producer-to-broadcaster ratio allowed for invaluable networking to take place both during the day and at the fantastic social events in the evenings. Delegates were treated to a private concert at the landmark Palazzo Vecchio during the opening reception, and a private tour of the Vasari Corridor overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the closing night. Receptions and dinners at stunning palazzos - as well as a rousing evening of karaoke - helped make a memorable Congress for all.

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  • Hay John

    Of all the gatherings of TV people throughout the year, Congress feels the friendliest. It's stimulating but supportive, small enough to allow proper conversations but broad enough in its reach to give you a new perspective on your own patch. And I always leave full of new ideas.

    John Hay, Head of Specialist Factual, Channel 4
  • Pemberton  Sonya

    Ah, Congress. You have captured a place in my heart! Every year I juggle my daft diary to allow time for you, to see you in your stunning new location, to bathe in your sea of grand ideas alongside the clever folks who are also drawn to you. You are a splendid creation, a crafty mix of business and pleasure, challenge and inspiration. No matter my role you bring gifts, including friendships most prized. Thank you, dear Congress. I shall see you soon.

    Sonya Pemberton, Creative Director, Genepool Productions
  • Viner Thomas Web

    Science Congress is a great opportunity to meet the world’s factual producers and broadcasters, and get the true story out of them like nowhere else!

    Thomas Viner, Creative Director, Pioneer
  • Soullier Alex Web14

    The WCSP is always a mark in my time line. A strategic moment, a great opportunity to discover the trends of the year on an international scale, and have some passionate discussions with colleagues and international broadcasters. Can't wait for the next one!

    Alexandre Soullier, Producer, Bonne Pioche Television
  • Rueckauer Ralf Web14

    WCSFP is simply the best, cutting-edge, ultimate, extraordinary, top notch, outstanding, ground-breaking, trend-setting, expert-driven factual congress in the world. I can’t wait to see all friends and peers again to set up for our pre-x-mas family style binge-watching meeting. No way to miss the buzz and fun out there every year.

    Ralf Rückauer, Vice President ZDFE.factual, ZDF Enterprises GmbH
  • Ning Mike Web15

    I had been told by my Chinese friends about the fascinating Congress sessions and that was what profoundly impressed me during the Hong Kong edition. The themes of advancing with the times, the experts and producers who really focused on them, the engrossing debate and comprehensive exchange at social events, all made me enjoy the veritably family atmosphere of Congress.

    Mike Ning, Content Operation Director, GZDOC