On Wednesday, February 17, a breath of fresh air wafted into Los Angeles from Banff (Canada). They call(ed) the wind CICLA (Content Industry Connect LA). It landed at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, California and remained pleasant all afternoon.
Achilles Media, the Canadian event management company which facilitates the large and impressive Banff World Media Festival, also is the force behind CICLA. The 2016 Banff World Media Festival will take place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel from June 12-15. Last week’s CICLA represents a blithe, local LA precursor to the big Canadian blowout. Consider CICLA to be a trade wind for, well, the Trade.
Amber J. Lawson, Achilles Media Executive Producer and all-around force of nature, describes CICLA 2016 thus: “CICLA really brought together some of the most influential entertainment companies and storytellers under one roof to figure out how we can all do business together, capitalize and monetize in this constantly shifting digital ecosystem. We made a lot of progress, and the dialogue must continue, and it will at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival in June. CICLA is a staple in LA and will continue to grow.”
For an extremely modest entry fee, CICLA attendees received much entertainment value in a small, sturdy package. Here are the top five reasons that CICLA was a lifesaver in a sea (and a season) of competitors, such as NATPE, Sundance, Toy Fair, and CES:
1) Low-pressure networking – There were no pretentious galas or exclusionary ceremonies on the agenda. CICLA consolidated its program into the essentials: just seminars (such as “The Monetization Conundrum,” “The New Buyers,” and “Exploring a Revolution in the Global Scripted Marketplace”) and schmoozing.
2) Gale force speakers, panelists, and attendees – Star gazers spotted and had direct access to these industry exec luminaries: Ian Friedman of Comedy Central; Eliot Goldberg of AMC & Sundance TV; Pat Quinn of Quinn Media Management; Chris Williams of Maker Studios; and many more.
3) Easily navigable website – The highlight of same is the comprehensive participant database with contact information that, as of publication, remains intact.
4) Smooth sailing through the Meeting Exchange – Think J-Date meets a speed date . . . for show business! Prior to the conference, registrants perused the Meeting Exchange, featuring the ability to book 10-minute, one-on-one meetings with top industry-ites, such as David Eilenberg and Brett Weitz of Turner Broadcasting; Brian Toombs of Funny or Die; John P. Roberts of Bunim Murray Productions; and Sharon Rechter of BabyFirst TV.
5) Sunny event staff – Workers were a mixture of pros and volunteers, but all smiled with equal brightness, even through the unexpected downpour! (Yes, El Nino was a surprise guest.)
To keep current with CICLA for future conferences, see its corresponding website. See also the dedicated Achilles Media and the Banff World Media Festival sites, respectively. Bon voyage!