Following four days of lively and informative sessions, invaluable networking opportunities and unforgettable social events, the 2009 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers has officially come to a close. Over 500 delegates congregated at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, Australia for the sold out industry conference that brought together science and specialist factual producers and broadcasters from Australia and around the world.
Highlights of the 2009 WCSFP:
Host Broadcaster ABC welcomed delegates to Melbourne, Australia for the 17th Annual WCSFP, from December 1 through 4.
Leading Australian stakeholders participated to present the Congress, including: Screen Australia, Film Victoria, and the Queensland Government.
A total of 512 delegates from 24 countries attended.
86% of delegates surveyed report they were able to advance projects in development by attending the Congress.
91% of delegates surveyed report they were able to find potential new production partners by attending the Congress.
Returning attendees represented 50% of delegates, continuing a three-year trend of strong retention of core constituents.
16 international companies sponsored the Congress: one Host Broadcaster, one Principal Partner, one Contributing Partner, one Industry Development Partner, one Supporting Partner, four Gold, three Silver, and three Bronze sponsors as well as one Industry Partner.
Industry overview sessions such as What’s the Buzz, hosted by ABC’s Bernie Hobbs along with National Geographic’s Steve Burns, and BBC’s Martin Davidson were delivered to an at-capacity room of delegates.
The number of Speed Dating meetings increased 59%, with a record 192 meetings organized.
33 intimate Close Encounters of the Funding Kind sessions were scheduled over three days. The sessions provided key industry knowledge during closed-door meetings of 18 to 25 delegates at a time.
Special Guest speakers included Anthony Geffen, CEO of Atlantic Productions, who participated in The Link, Sydney Suissa who participated in Sydney’s View From Melbourne, and Dr. Spencer Wells, and the Sleek Geeks: Dr. Karland and Adam Spencer, who participated in We are Family! – The Genographic Project.
Social events were held in Melbourne’s most exclusive venues, including Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, the Melbourne Museum, and the Plaza Ballroom inside the Regent Theatre.
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
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
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
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
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
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