With over 600 delegates from 25 countries in attendance, the 2008 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in Florence, Italy, was a resounding success. This year’s Congress was particularly enriched by a strong presence from the host country: close to 100 Italian delegates attended, including representatives from RAI, Mediaset, Fox Channels Italy and numerous independent producers from across the country.
The three day event featured blockbuster panels, such at the BATTLE OF THE BRANDS with Steve Burns (Executive Vice President, Content, National Geographic) and John Ford (President and General Manager, Discovery Channel), the always informative opening plenary WHAT’S THE BUZZ, and CLEVER PLEASURE: IN CONVERSATION WITH JANICE HADLOW (Controller, BBC Two). Additionally, hundreds of one-on-one Speed Dating meetings were arranged between independent producers and broadcasters and robust Meet the Network and Meet the CE/Funders strands facilitated over 40 intimate sessions with key decision makers.
The better than 2-to-1 producer-to-broadcaster ratio allowed for invaluable networking to take place both during the day and at the fantastic social events in the evenings. Delegates were treated to a private concert at the landmark Palazzo Vecchio during the opening reception, and a private tour of the Vasari Corridor overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the closing night. Receptions and dinners at stunning palazzos - as well as a rousing evening of karaoke - helped make a memorable Congress for all.