CEPIC 2017: Face-to-Face or Skype, or both?
Once a year, either end of May or mid-June, CEPIC, the association of European stock photography agencies invites the world's agencies to its annual international conference. Even in the age of Skype and VR it is still really nice, if totally old scholl, to meets lots of buisness partners face to face. Sometimes it takes place at a completely new location, like last year in Zagreb statt and sometimes in a place its been before like this year in Berlin.
Other place it was held were for example Malta, Biarritz, Florence, Dresden or Lisbon. It's been in Barcelona and London, too in previous years. waren auch mal dran. The list is long as the tradition reaches back to the middle of the nineties. The conference didn't get got really big until 1998 in Stockholm and achieved it's highest attendance 2008 in Malta, If I remember correctly. As a consequence of the extreme decline in the per image license fees for photography the industry has undergone dramatic change and shrunk which has left it's mark and the attendance, too. Nevertheless there attendees visit from all over the world. From Brasil to China. Japan, South Korea, India to the USA. Even the future ex-EU members from the UK were not only present, but strongly represented.
New place or familiar environment
Although I always love to discover a new place a familiar location also has it's advantages. In this case right down to the same, highly recommendable hotel. Many topics – ranginge from Google to copyright – were covered in seminars and presentations. Further themes client wishes and photo agencies in Asia. Even if the first ever attempt to have a panel member from India join via Skype was not successful. Nevertheless most of our business partners from all over the world had found their way to Berlin. And we even had a productive meeting with out neighbours from Munich in Berlin.
And yes, there were also a few receptions. es auch – for example at BeachMitte. Agencies from Berlin contributed to make the whole time a great experience. For example a backyard barbecue by EyeEm.
What die we learn
Many words and few concrete things – that is how it was somehow. For me the most important thing is to strengthen our presonal relationships with agencies around the world. To achieve that I had about 50 meetings over a period of 4 days. Some with distributors for our own content some with key content suppliers. We are always on the look out for interesting new collections for our customers. This goes in particular for new suppliers of new content types like VR, 360 or Cinemagraphs. Particularly the latter have interested me personally for quite some time as I feel they perfect for online advertising in general and banner advertising in particular.
Highlight customer panel
I never miss out on the customer panel in order to find inspiration for better or new services to our customers. Repeatidly a desire for a simlified price model for rights managed pricing model was voice – and – to our great delight – it mirrored exactly our recently introduced new RM Licencing-model.
Things work better when people know each other personally. Some breakthroughs, which can't be achieved in months of emails come about in a 15 minute "real" meeting like there never was a problem. Good that the subject was covered … Face-to-Face. For this reason we can look back on the CEPIC 2017 as a series of exciting and successful meetings.