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NATPE Chief Previews 2011 Conference

NATPE President/CEO Rick Feldman previewed highlights of the 2011 NATPE Market and Conference, in a conference call with reporters Thursday (Dec. 9), which this year moves to Miami after seven years in Las Vegas.

Feldman says he’s looking at this year’s conference, which will take place Jan. 24-26 at the Fontainebleau Resort, as the first, not the 48th edition, because in his mind Miami is changing everything, not just geographically, but symbolically in terms of whom the market will attract. The south Florida location gives it proximity to the growing Latino market, New York, and access to an international airport for European attendees.

The location change also spurred NATPE to cut down the conference program by about one-third this year, to give people more of a chance to schmooze in the more aesthetically pleasing environment.

Feldman wouldn’t comment on the number of registrants to date, but said they are “pacing far ahead of last year” and he is optimistic that they’ll end up slightly above last year’s 5,000 attendees.

500 buyers from 40 countries are already scheduled to attend, with 250 exhibitors signed up. Feldman estimates that 75% of the distributors are in suites, and 25% on the floor. He was also happy to report that all of the major studios will be represented at the marketplace, including the return of Disney.

2011 program highlights include a keynote speech from WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell on the evening of Jan. 23, “Coffee With…” sessions each morning with execs from Burn Notice, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Univision’s Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco. Tuesday evening will feature the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards and the Advertising Innovation Track will round out Wednesday.

NATPE will also launch two digital tools for this year’s conference. NATPE Connect is an online social networking site for attendees, allowing them to set up meetings with fellow delegates, accept the invites, and download the details to their handheld devices. In addition, the NATPE Online Show Guide will provide the session and speaker information, maps and other content previously produced in print form.