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NATPE '94: art deco and the in-crowd.

There is advice and warnings to be considered for NATPE '94, which will be held in January in Miami Beach, Florida.

Advice: Bring along Spanish and German dictionaries. Miami is a Spanish city invaded by Germans.

Warning: Do not stray into Miami's other districts with a car that says "rented." It's too dangerous.

Advice: Dress casual e.g., Bermuda shorts, T-Shirts, baseball caps. But, be stylish. Sneakers are out of the question (this isn't Hollywood) as well as jogging suits. Top siders are in, together with roller blades and socks worn with sandals for Germans over 40. Be particular about your baseball cap: New York Yankees and L.A. symbols are in Out are esoteric caps such as the Chicago Bulls, or anything from New England.

Warning: Lose some weight before hitting Ocean Drive. Competition is stiff with all those models, actors and other aspiring show-biz types swarming around.

Advice: Be a defensive driver. In Miami, people believe it's none of your business where they make turns. Be patient. hotel telephones are slow. Also, learn to tolerate all those "snow birds" from Canada. Remember, January is the high tourist season for Miami.

To be in Miami Beach today is like entering a set of a 193os movie. Art Deco is the name of the game.

The beach, a paradise for string-bikini wearers and topless sunbathers, is made up of fine sand, which radiates a white tone. The water tends to be a nice tropical green with lots of sea plants and rubbish floating. Most hotels provide solvent to remove the tar from the feet of its guests after a romantic walk on the beach.

A large number of Latin broadcasters are expected in Miami for this NATPE simply because they either have offices in the area, or maintain a residence. According to NATPE's president Bruce Johansen, the popular NATPE seminars will be a rich source of information for non-U.S. producers willing to play the U.S. TV game.

One of Johansen's tasks, in addition to expanding the market and keeping costs at bay, is to reconcile the various opinion on NATPE's international role. Some industry members see NATPE as a place for U.S. companies to sell internationally, which is done for the case of Latins. But, most international distributors tend to prefer the Monte Carlo TV Market, MIP-TV and MIPCOM

Other NATPE members see the market as purely a U.S. event where foreign TV executives are encouraged to learn about the American TV market. But, critics say, TV today is not just a one-country show. Because of co-production, non-U.S. producers have to actively participate in U.S. events,

Yet, others see NATPE as a springboard for non-U.S. producers to sell to the Americans, only if they would be willing to play the game: a very expensive game with no guaranteed results, not even for the Americans.

Nontheless, quite apart from the market itself, NATPE, according to Johansen, is "aggressively encouraging international membership" and scheduled a series of seminars both in Miami and in Europe.

Earlier this month in Los Angeles, NATPE staged a seminar around the topic "Creating Today's TV." Come November, there will be a one-day seminar in both Germany and France, designed to explain the procedures of American TV to the Europeans.

NATPE in Miami is making a number of innovative changes, many designed to meet the needs of international members. Once again, there will be the international seminar followed by the international reception.

NATPE's "survival kit" session is going to be a daily routine. There will be one briefing in Spanish. At these briefings, the day's NATPE agenda will be discussed.

There will be special red telephones providing access to translator services, Johansen is also introducing a separate international registration area.

NATPE this year will also feature a number of specialized pavillions focusing on new technologies. There will be one on interactive TV, another for Telcos, and yet another for cable.

Johansen said NATPE is literally sold out and last year's 10,450 attendance record will easily be surpassed.

To cover the Pacific Rim countries, NATPE has named Nick McMahon of Village Roadshow in Australia as its representative "down under."
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Title Annotation:National Association of Television Program Executives
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Previous Article:MIPCOM's Roy: expanding by one market a year? Not really.
Next Article:MIFED celebrates buoyant market.

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