The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) has shifted two upcoming conferences to a virtual format due to concerns about COVID-19.
NATPE Budapest, an annual international event, will be August 25 to 27. NATPE Streaming Plus, an online version of a streaming conference that held its first edition last summer in LA, will be held September 15.
The two will be held under the newly launched NATPE Virtual banner. Organizers for the time being still plan to hold their regular Miami flagship event in January.
The virtual events in August and September will feature screenings and secured licensing, showrooms and private meetings, as well as content sessions and master classes.
“True to our vision to be the one source for global content, Team NATPE is deploying the most comprehensive suite of virtual experiences to complement our physical events and conferences,” CEO JP Bommel said. “The focus is on content and community. Virtual experiences are not intended to replace the essential face-to-face meetings but serve as an alternative platform to provide for monetization, connectivity and opportunity to distributors and buyers. NATPE Virtual provides a cost-effective alternative for creators, programmers and diverse storytellers and storytellers when the desire for content has never been greater.”
NATPE held its first annual conference in 1964 as TV was coming into its own as a business. For decades, the multi-billion-dollar syndication sector propelled the show, with station groups, programmers and producers meeting and often doing deals. In more recent times, with syndication in decline, the main event permanently shifted to Miami and has emphasized growth areas like streaming and international distribution.