MPTS 2023 | Pre-show Q&A with Charlotte Wheeler

Apr 14, 2023

How has MPTS evolved since it was first launched? 

The show has come full circle now from the original vision of the event. The show has always been about our customers and attendees and ensuring that everyone gains maximum ROI from attending. We started off as a production show, with kit and services across film and TV, and we are still that show with many fantastic UK services exhibiting at the show this year, but in 2019 after the acquisition of BVE we incorporated many of the technology exhibitors into the event and added in the word ‘technology’ into its title. Now, as we prepare to open the doors to the Grand Hall at Olympia to 300 exhibitors from across the sector, it will be fantastic to see how this show has evolved since launch in 2016.

What makes the event stand out from others in the industry event calendar?

We have a very clear definition around our content programme which is all FREE and that we should be part of the education and training of this industry and make it accessible to all and that is something our speakers like hearing too when we invite them. Our event is also in the heart of the content creation in the UK and London, making it very easy to visit for as long as you have in your diary and only over two days ensures that businesses exhibiting can maximise their time out of the office as well.  Also, no matter when you register, it is still free to attend! The other big aspect about our show is that it isn’t just about broadcast technology, we have many exhibitors who serve customers around pre-production services including locations, studios, crewing, catering – so now matter how big or small your next production will be, you will find something at the show for you as well. And for all those who love getting hands on with all the latest tech, there is plenty to get hold of on the show floor as well!

What was the feedback from last year’s event from attendees and exhibitors? What were they most impressed by?

Last year’s event was unique in it being the first one back from the pandemic and lockdowns. And the atmosphere was incredible. It was brilliant to see everyone back together, meeting on stands, bumping into colleagues in the aisles and enjoying all the free content on the seminar theatres. We had brilliant feedback from exhibitors who also mentioned a noticeable increase of international visitors to the event for the first time and we spoke to a few of them who felt that coming to London for a 2 day show was a great use of time and they could mix in other meetings in London in the same week and make it a very positive business experience. Our exhibitor onsite rebook into 2023 was the highest ever at 79%, so for us that spoke volumes as to how people felt the show went for them!

 How did this impact on this year’s event and how did you tailor the show to suit attendees’ needs? 

We have moved into the Grand Hall of Olympia now to have all the exhibitors on one floor for 2023, as we also needed additional space for all of the new exhibitors that are joining us this year. There is more seating, a bigger bar and the seminar theatres have been increased in size by 25%, so we have listened to feedback and tailored that accordingly and where we can.

What is the focus at 2023’s MPTS? What new additions are there for attendees to look forward to, from new exhibitors through to new elements of the event? 

The biggest increase in terms of activity sits around the boom in Virtual Production, with ROE, Mo-Sys, 80Six, AOTO to name a few of our exhibitors on the show floor, and sponsoring the VP content programme are Pixotope, Absen, and Disguise. A number of new studios are being built around the country purely for VP and as the content creators ramp up to include more of the technology in their creative plans they will be able to find out what solutions suits them with the demonstrations and content programme to help them navigate through.

 What are the key trends and themes in production will be explored at the event through the different zones and in seminars and panels?

One of the biggest themes for us at the show this year is around next generational talent and how we as an industry make sure this sector is a viable one for young people to want to build a career in. There have been many reports recently which show a significant issue in the next decade when it comes to engineering and technical roles and that not enough students are choosing this vocation at university to come through the system in a few years time. But we should also be focussed on in-house training and encouraging those that have a passion for making talent that this is an industry that is inclusive and wants young people to come and build their careers here. There is a talent crisis, and we will be exploring this through some of the sessions but we also have some of the new talent on the stages to talk about their experiences so far. Across the show you will find exhibitors and content about the content creation industry from pre-production through to distribution, this is most certainly one of our unique points, and as mentioned before as the show sits in the heart of a multi-billion pound industry, we need to ensure that we cover all aspects of content creation for the Film and TV industry.

What are you most excited about from this year’s line-up, from speakers through to innovations?

I am certainly looking forward to hearing from Steven Knight CBE, as one of the country’s most prolific Screenwriters it will be fascinating to hear from him about his creative processes and his new studios and plans to engage more people into filming in Birmingham. It is very difficult to pick out specifics as we have so much content going on, over 90 sessions across the two days but we believe we have covered all bases on the programme from deep fakes to disability and diversity issues still facing the industry, from technology ethics to stunt performers, VFX artists to music composition for film and TV, the content is designed to attract everyone from this industry to come and enjoy our free content programme.

What do you think will be most relevant for British Cinematographer’s at the show that they shouldn’t miss?

I think we have a wealth of exhibitors and content that your readers will want to come and explore, so much kit on show from manufactures to the resellers, cameras, accessories, lighting and all the virtual production tools which will be on display, on a larger scale. The sessions cross film and TV across all the theatres, it is all there for you, you just need to register and come down for two days to explore it all!

What advice would you share with first-time MPTS attendees?

Definitely plan your trip and also we are just about to launch our networking gateway application which allows you to plan your time effectively and make meetings with other delegates who are attending the show. Time goes quick at MPTS as there is so much going on, so you don’t want to miss out on anything! Also make sure you have registered early to get all the latest updates on the exhibitors and speakers at the show, ensuring you are the most up to date you can be. We have also opened the show earlier and a little later this year on day one to allow you more time to explore and enjoy everything on offer. Most of all though have fun!

Register here.

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