This month experts from the animation industry met online. No handshakes, cotton candy competitions and other usual activities spark the thought that the re-creation of offline CMC is barely possible. Let’s dispel this misconception.
The period of 5th-9th July was filled with hundreds of animation industry professionals. The virtual doors were open to representatives of the TV, radio, movie, games, publishing and other industries, who intended to bring more value to kids’ world. VlogBox had the honour of becoming a network sponsor and active participant at Wonder room areas and the CMC platform webinar. Among the top speakers were Vanessa Amberleigh, from the BBC Children’s In House Productions, Dominique Bazay, from Netflix original animation, Chris Rose, from Nickelodeon International $ VIS Kids, Brenda Bisner, from Kidoodle.TV, and many more.
Essential topics CMC covered
COVID-19 is not a temporal challenge, it’s the driving force behind the changes that people must accept and adapt to. Thus, CMC is not an exception when it comes to going virtual. The conference has become an opportunity for all sectors of the kids’ content industry to meet on easy-to-use platforms, catch up with industry news and brand development as well as making awesome business connections.
The issues like the change in kids’ physical and mental health as well as the safety of content they consume from multiple screens at home, and the social implications for children’s specific media consumption are overcrucial today, so it’s unsurprising then that this topic is often found at the center of a storm of controversy. Just one of a myriad of examples can be found at the BBC, which is now in search of new ideas on kids’ content that could increase education levels and love to the motherland.
Another good point drawn from the conference is reaching for highly interactive and user-generated content in the kids’ animation industry. Just bare content is not what grabs much attention in the era of gaming, thus in terms of OTT, gaming characters and interaction with little viewers will definitely increase engagement rates and viewership as well as interest in education and personal development.
In addition, merch items, including branded toys, bags, T-shirts, etc. are an attractive area in digital advertising targeting kids by the age of 8, which means popular content creators should bundle preschool content with merch opportunities and calls-to-action. VlogBox is now working on binding e-stores to Connected TV applications, so the trend is already kept up with.
Was it good enough?
It really was. CMC organizers’ put maximum effort into making the event useful and engaging. We connected with tens of participants interested in the new OTT environment. We met gifted animation content creators, who are relatively new on the scene but have every possibility of breaking into the competitive animation environment. We had our own branded area arranged, so it was easy to join and start conversations through Wonder bouncing. Besides, we took away lots of useful points to stick to in our work processes and partnerships.
‘Almost 1000 delegates attended CMC 2021 and we felt that the Wonder networking was a real success this year! The networking room was busy throughout the entire week with speakers dropping by to chat, meetings being arranged and visiting our Vlogbox sponsor stand. Although not quite like being in Sheffield, we hope that we managed to enable the creative connectivity and spontaneous meet ups that delegates love about CMC!’ – adds Lauren Bartles, Head of Operations at CMC.
Hopefully, next year we will meet with all of these people over a cup of coffee and enjoy CMC offline, but the status of CMC 2021 is still ‘success’.