Highlights of 2011 Conference
Following four days of lively and informative sessions, invaluable networking opportunities and unforgettable social events, the 2011 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers came to a close with over 600 members having congregated at the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel for the sold out industry conference that brought together science and specialist factual producers and broadcasters from France and around the world.
Host Broadcaster France Télévisions welcomed a record breaking 692 members from more than 31 countries to Paris, France, for the 19th annual WCSFP, from November 29 to December 3, 2011.
Leading French broadcasters participated in the Congress, including CANAL+ and ARTE France.
Eighty-four per cent of members surveyed report they were able to advance projects in development by attending the Congress.
Eighty-one per cent of members surveyed report they were able to find potential new production partners by attending the Congress.
Returning attendees represented over 60 per cent of members, continuing to build on a five-year trend of strong retention of core constituents.
A total of 24 international companies sponsored the Congress including one Host Broadcaster, one Presenting Platinum Partner, one Contributing Partner, one Public Agency Partner, four Gold Sponsors, five Silver Sponsors, one Bronze Sponsor, and 11 Industry Partners.
The traditional Congress opening session, Welcome and What’s the Buzz?, was again delivered to an at capacity room of members and was hosted by David Lowe, Nuclear Physicist and Presenter of France 5’s On n’est pas que des coybayes/So You Think We’re Just Guinea Pigs (France).
The Congress welcomed renowned scientists Dr. Jacques Attali, Professor Brian Cox, Professor Steve Jones, and Dr. Michio Kaku, all of whom participated in key sessions, sharing their experience and expertise with WCSFP members.
The number of Speed Dating projects submitted increased by nearly 20 per cent from the previous year, with 219 projects submitted by a total of 98 different producers.
Thirty intimate Close Encounters of the Funding Kind sessions were scheduled over three days, providing key industry knowledge during closed-door meetings for 18 to 25 members at a time.
The Emerging Markets Program provided no-cost accreditation, travel and accommodation to one established producer from Serbia and one from China.
Four emerging science communicators from the UK were provided mentoring and professional development opportunities through the Wellcome Trust Mentoring Program for Emerging Talent.
Social events were held throughout the city including the iconic Maxim’s de Paris, at the Tout Le Monde Parle and the host hotel, the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel.
A Flickr slideshow of images from this year’s event is available online. Thanks to all of the sponsors, session producers, moderators, panelists, volunteers and staff who helped to make the 2011 WCSFP a resounding success!
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