The Media Production & Technology Show Celebrates Record Visitor Numbers

The UK’s biggest broadcast media, production and technology show united the media and entertainment community for two days of engaged networking, passionate debate and valuable insights that set the business and creative agenda for the year ahead

After two buzzing days of inspiration, learning and an abundance of networking, the biggest and best The Media Production & Technology Show (MPTS) yet attracted a record 12,000+ attendees from 52 countries. Held at London’s Olympia on 15 – 16 May, the editorially driven programme comprised of over 100 live sessions of free content across eight theatres and featured more than 350 speakers. Combined with a bustling show floor of 300+ exhibitors and sponsor partners, the event showcased the depth, diversity and sheer talent of the UK’s creative and technical community.

MPTS kicked off with a call by leading directors James Hawes (Slow Horses), James Strong (Mr Bates vs The Post Office) and Christiana Ebohon-Green (Call the Midwife) for enhanced tax breaks for UK indies to preserve the future of British drama.

Voicing concern about the lack of opportunities for freelancers in the industry, Priya Singh, Director of Operations, Commissioning & Content at ITV, Sarah Asante, Scripted Commissioning Editor for UKTV and Katie Benbow, Director of Strategy, BBC Studios shared advice on how broadcasters can better mentor young talent.

Supporting freelancers in the industry was an urgent theme cutting across many sessions at the show, including at the Freelancers Landscape – What’s Next? session led by BECTU, Film & TV Charity and ScreenSkills. They are vital to the strength of the community and MPTS will continue to support them.

Diverse representation in the industry is another vital sign of health and MPTS is leading this by setting the standards by going the extra mile to secure equal representation in the programme, which was also clearly witnessed across the show floor amongst exhibitors and attendees.

MPTS acknowledges the crucial importance of sustainability in the industry and collaborated with organisations like BAFTA albert to bring this conversation to the fore with experts including Rachel Lyon, Production Executive & Sustainability Lead UKTV and David Garrido Presenter & Sustainability Lead Sky Sport News.

Four-time Winter Olympian and TV presenter Chemmy Alcott told MPTS how sports broadcasting is driving positive environmental change as part of BAFTA albert’s Sustainability Series. Lowri Davies, VP and Director of Broadcaster Services for Premier League Productions at IMG discussed the future of live in an on stage interview. Other notable speakers included producer Peter Ettedgui who discussed the making of his recent acclaimed documentary.

Headliners at MPTS included Executive Producer and author Sam McAlister, the real life star of Netflix feature Scoop who gave us the lowdown on how the story was adapted for screen alongside Director Philip Martin.

Fresh from winning an Oscar and BAFTA award sound designer Johnnie Burn drew crowds at the Audio Theatre for a behind the scenes masterclass into making The Zone of Interest.

The Post Production stage featured state of the nation panels with leading industry figures in post and VFX from Picture Shop, Run VT, Azimuth, Ghost VFX, BlueBolt, Cinesite, 1185 Films and more. The award-winning Residence Pictures team discussed the making of Shane Meadows’ drama The Gallows Pole and editor Paul Machliss illuminated aspects of crafting films like Last Night in Soho. At the Virtual Production stage, Steve Jelley, Executive Producer, No Way Up, shared the virtual production techniques behind feature thriller No Way Up.

Anushka Asthana, deputy political editor of ITV News headlined the AI Forum with a keynote explaining how broadcast news can counter the threat of misinformation and deep fakes. Creative applications for the use of AI in post and production were showcased by Cuebric, Avid, Volinga, disguise, Speechmatics and more. In the keynote theatre, Broadcaster Dan Snow even demonstrated how an ‘AI Dan’ is being used to augment his voice overs in shows for History Hit.

At the Media Technology Conference, which was brought to the show in partnership with SMPTE UK, ITV CTO Simon Farnsworth outlined the broadcaster’s Digital Enablement Strategy and joined the BBC’s Mark Patrick and Channel 4’s Andy Bell in an in-depth analysis of the current state of the broadcast industry.

Emily Fairclough, Head of Pro Vis, SCAN Computers Ltd said, “I think this year 2024 is probably the most innovative, cutting-edge, head-of-the-curve MPTS that I’ve exhibited at so far. I think even compared to last year, attendees really know what they’re looking for when it comes to cloud, AI, virtual production, all of the buzzwords, all of the emerging technologies, everyone’s really embraced it. They know how they want to utilise it and they’re really seeking out partners in this space to support them in doing that. So to have vendors here, partners here, experts here, form that collective in the industry, I think that’s been so valuable  to everybody involved – customers and exhibitors alike.”

Rob Brown, Sales Account Manager, Proactive UK Ltd said, “I thought it was an absolutely brilliant show. We had plenty of existing customers and potential customers come by the stand, we took them through our latest products and services. I think we’ve got some really strong leads and I believe the show was a roaring success.”

Stuart Russell, Head of Marketing, Limecraft said, “So I would say that this has been the best Media Production and Technology Show that we’ve exhibited at. It’s been consistently busy across the two days, yesterday which was day one was even busier than day one last year. We’ve seen a really, really good mix of people, senior decision makers within significant organisations in the industry. So I’m very pleased with the level of attendance and the quality of attendees. We’ve already pre booked for next year. So very happy overall with the way it’s gone and looking forward to seeing what we get out of it.”

Many exhibitors were impressed by both the number and the mix of visitors, commenting:

Lexi Morgan, Head of Marketing, HHB Communications said,“MPTS has been a fantastic success this year and really well attended. As a pro audio technology provider, we were able to meet with all of our key contacts and have important conversations. The media sector is very broad, so it was great to see audio so well represented at the show. I especially appreciate the panels covering ‘state of play’ in the industry and the customer-centric approach to the conference.”

Donna Smith, Managing Director, Rise said,“The atmosphere at MPTS has been amazing this year. MPTS is definitely one of the industry’s most diverse shows, if not the most diverse, both in terms of attendees and panellists. A huge amount of work goes into making sure that there is equal representation across an extensive conference programme. Attendance at the Rise booth was very high, with a queue 20 deep at some points during the event, and we were able to give away over 150 of our show survival kits in just 2 days.

Charlotte Wheeler, Event Director, said, “The quality, diversity and sheer range of our speaker programme at this year’s show underlines the unique heritage of the UK’s world class creative industries and demonstrated how passionate everyone is to see it survive and thrive.

We were treated to some exceptional masterclass presentations and inspirational speeches about how to break in or get ahead in the industry. There were also wise and urgent words about the urgency of addressing the skills gap and talent retention as well as how to optimise and manage new innovations, notably AI. Diversity and sustainability were rightly centre stage of every conversation as the industry grapples with change. We want to thank everyone who gave their time and expertise to make MPTS such a thrilling success and rest assured – We are already working on MPTS 2025!”

Save the date for MPTS 2025 when we return to Olympia London on 14 – 15 May 2025.


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