Registration for this year's NATPE || Content First convention in Miami Beach is up more than 30 percent ahead of last year, President and CEO Rod Perth said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.
"The single most important ingredient for a vibrant market -- and for deals to get done -- is the number of qualified buyers that attend," Perth said.
The exhibition floor also is sold out, with 300 exhibitors -- 27 of them new to the show -- planning to hawk their wares to convention attendees. Last year, more than 5,000 people attended the event at the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc resorts on Miami's picturesque South Beach. Exhibition suites in the hotel's Tresor Towers also are sold out, although some remain available in other parts of the hotel.
All of the major studios will be on hand this year, including Sony, which has been notably absent from the gathering in recent years. This year, the company has taken a "huge suite," says Perth, and will be promoting its new offering, Queen Latifah, which already has been sold to the CBS owned stations for a fall 2013 premiere.
This January, NATPE will celebrate its 50th anniversary, complete with a party on Tuesday night featuring retro rock band Fitz and the Tantrums playing at the Fontainebleau's LIV night club. Tuesday night also will feature the annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, with this year's' awards going to BET's Debra Lee, Modern Family's Steve Levitan, COPS EP John Langley, and Herbert G. Kloiber, president of Germany's Tele München Group. The organization also plans an opening night party around the Eden Roc pool, and a Monday night reception around the Fontainebleau pool.
NATPE also has added several speakers, in addition to keynoter Mark Cuban, including The Walking Dead's executive producer Glen Mazzara, former CNN host Larry King, Arrested Development's Mitch Hurtwiz, Electus' Ben Silverman and many others who will speak and sit on panels across the conference's several content tracks.
NATPE || Content first takes place Jan. 28-30 in Miami.