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PROMAX joins the Jornadas.

For the first time in its five-year history, the PROMAX&BDA Latin America Conference (November 12-13) will be raking place in Latin America. Unsurprisingly, the economy is the culprit behind this transformation, instigating the change of location from the usual Miami to the Hotel Inter-Continental in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But location is not the only difference in store for this years event: PROMAX&BDA has formed a partnership with ATVC (the Argentine Television Cable Association) and will be presenting its conference alongside the annual Jornadas (Spanish for "days") ATVC conference.

PROMAX&BDA is the international non-profit association of promotion, marketing and broadcast professionals. Founded almost 50 years ago -- and known for its intinerant annual Conference and Exhibition, traditionally held in June -- the Latin America Conference has also become a key event for the association, having had four years with it in Miami with participation from both regional television networks and major media companies like MTV/Nickelodeon Latin America and Sony Entertainment Television.

But, although not unexpected, 2001's Latin America Conference did see a mmarked drop-off in attendance. While market attendance seems to be making something of a recovery now, the economic situation has not improved, and remains especially troubled in Latin America. This fact prompted PROMAX&BDA to rethink its positioning.

Said Rose Adkins, head of corporate development, Latin America for Promax, "We wanted to find an affordable way for all of our members and other individuals ... to attend the conference." Because of the current currency devaluation in Latin America, continued Adkins, "it was determined that it would be more affordable for individuals from the [United] States to attend the conference in Buenos Aires, rather than the other way around."

PROMAX&BDA was able to make this transition a bit easier for itself by partnering up with ATVC, an association founded in 1980 to represent Argentina's cable industry at the national level. The Jornadas ATVC attracts suppliers of equipment, programming and services for the cable TV industry and its convergence, as well as broadcasters, educators, regulators and politicians. The Jornadas ATVC 2002 -- A Cable to the Future, sponsored by CADISSA (the Argentine Chamber of Satellite Signals Distributors), is the 13th edition of the event, and comprises the 2002 ATVC Awards Ceremony, the Commercial Exhibition, the ATVC Conferences, the SCTE (Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers) Technical Workshops (this year addressing the topic "Internet in Cable") and, now, the PROMAX&BDA Latin America Conference 2002. The Jornadas ATVC, being held in the same location as the Latin America Conference, lasts a day longer than the PROMAX&-BDA event, from November 12-14.

"ATVC has been a member of PROMAX&BDA for many years, and has taken part in its Latin America Conference in Miami," said Laura Antoniazzo, manager of ATVC. "The agreement we've made involves mutual assistance to integrate the PROMAX&BDA Latin America Conference with Jornadas ATVC's general program, its promotion and development."

It seems that for the PROMAX&BDA Latin America Conference the reality was "united we stand, divided we fall." Because budgets are so restrictive at the moment, markets at one time not in competition with each other are now finding themselves in that position by default -- a particularly difficult scenario for smaller markets. Teaming up is a way both to ensure you're not forgotten, and to turn potential competitors into helpful allies. "A lot of our attendees also attend the Jornadas ATVC conference," said Adkins. "Knowing that our delegates would be attending fewer events this year, we decided to partner with an association that has crossover with our membership. By doing this, we are providing our members and the industry with an opportunity to attend two events that they normally would attend, without having to incur the cost of both."

Moreover, explained Adkins, PROMAX&BDA can now reach out to "the local stations in the region which have not been able to attend our event in the past."

Ralph Haiek, COO of Claxson, has been named committee chairman for the Latin America Conference. This is his second stint in the position, having also served as chairman for the event in 1998. Other committee members include Jose Carmona, creative director for AXN; Cecilia Mendonca, senior producer of on-air promotions at Walt Disney TV Latin America; Jorge Ferreiro, regional manager of marketing for HBO Latin America; Carolina Lightcap, vp of marketing, international, Latin America at Walt Disney Company; and Javier Mard, president of Medialuna Design.

Haiek noted that "on-air promotions have not been properly valued in Latin America, "especially among the pay-TV industry, where on-air promos are the key to the success and identity of any television property."

The conference committee is planning a session and workshop schedule that addresses TV promotion, marketing and broadcast design, as well as advertising, cost-effective promo production and the future of TV programming and brands. Also on deck is the annual "State of Our Art" session, which provides a review of the top regional and international work done in the past year.
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Title Annotation:Conference in Buenos Aires
Author:Visakowitz, Susan
Publication:Video Age International
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Previous Article:International TV industry puts up 'for sale' sign.
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