EXCLUSIVE: NATPE Miami-Bound in 2011

Show moving to South Beach’s Fontainebleu Hotel

NATPE is headed to Miami in January 2011, leaving Las Vegas after hosting its annual market and conference there for the prior eight years, said NATPE President and CEO Rick Feldman on Tuesday. The show will be held at the newly renovated Fontainebleu and adjacent Eden Rock hotels on Miami’s South Beach.

“Miami Beach is easily accessible to our attendees from the U.S., Europe and Latin America,” says Feldman, pointing out that NATPE is now a much more international event than it once was. “The entire hotel with its new ocean view suites and a floor marketplace will be ours alone. NATPE will be under one roof in an environment that will provide unlimited possibilities for business being done in a most efficient and enjoyable manner.”

Feldman has been looking to shake up the annual meeting of the National Association of Television Programming Executives: for the past several years, NATPE has been held at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, a huge, spread-out complex in which the show floor was a 25-minute walk from the hotel suites, with exhibitors setting up shops in both places. Feldman felt that set-up limited community at NATPE -- where attendance levels have shrunk as the TV industry has consolidated -- and wanted to move it to a more intimate location.

Besides considering the Fontainebleu’s sister property in Las Vegas, Feldman also scouted other sites. In the final analysis, Miami and the Fontainebleu offered the most of what Feldman wanted for NATPE. The association has a contract for 2011 with an option for 2012.

This January, NATPE will spend its last year at the Mandalay Bay – at least for a while. The exhibit floor has been moved into the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which should compress the show a bit, and the show will only run three days, from January 25-27. Syndicators still will have the option to exhibit either on the floor or in a hotel suite.

This year, the association is offering the NATPE Navigator, a set of targeted networking tools and events designed to bring buyers, sellers and producers together and to best allow potential business partners to indentify each other. It’s also offering exhibitors free, customized email campaigns to best target customers and prospects with information, as well as offer them a substantial discount on the show’s registration fee.

“The value of NATPE is opportunity,” said Feldman. “These new initiatives have been designed to ensure that our attendees can achieve the highest possible results through enhanced relationship building, expanded connectivity and deal flow.”