The executive spoke to ttvnews about the results and her outlook on what was the fifth edition of the event, which marked the industry’s return to in-person tradeshows.

*From Pamplona, Spain.

After four intense days, the fifth edition of Conecta Fiction ended this Thursday in Pamplona, Spain, as an event that finally marked the return to in-person events for the Hispanic TV industry and that once again left a positive result for organizers and attendees .

To find out more about what this event meant for its organizers, ttvnews spoke to Géraldine Gonard, director of Conecta Fiction.

What results has this event left behind for the organization?

We are very happy, because it seems that we have a certain feeling of normality again. What is palpable in the air is a sense of positivism, of desire, of joy to see each other again, to meet in person. I think that above all the phrase that has been heard the most and that for me sums up what this Conecta Fiction was is: “I’m taking home a lot of business cards.” Physical cards! We didn’t even remember what those were.

And what was the participation like? Did it exceed your expectations?

The latest official numbers were the ones we shared last week at the launch conference. Since then we have not recalculated them, but they have gone up quite a bit. Last week they exceeded our expectations, because we expected 400 people and there were more than 350 here in person and about 100 on the virtual platform. With the latest records from last week we have undoubtedly surpassed them.

But I always like to clarify that we are a niche, boutique event: I prefer to have the right people here; it is not a mass event. Whether we are 400, 500 or 300 it doesn’t matter, the important thing is for them to be the people who have to be there and that they do business.

What do you think has been the theme that has dominated the event?

The theme has been the relationship between production companies, platforms and talent. I leave out the traditional networks, because they already have a stable relationship with the production companies that has been maintained and they also continue with the same strategy. But it is true that the platforms have a different working model and we see that for the production companies it is difficult to understand this model, because they work in a different way. They buy 100% regional content for themselves and do not give that feedback that traditional networks used to give such as audience data and measurements. The platforms are so global that it is difficult for the producer perhaps to find the way.

And of course there is a lot of discussion around the protection of the independent producer, of copyright, and I think it is a good time to debate all this, because many laws are being developed that are going to come and I think it is time for, precisely , events like Conecta which are places where points of view can be heard and debated.

And in your opinion, what is the solution for these claims?

The fact that global platforms are present in Spain is very positive, but I think there has to be everything. Global platforms, niche platforms, regional, local and different editorial lines. The key is that everyone finds their place and everyone has enough tools to be competitive. There’s no need to fight against big platforms, because it is absurd. There is room for everyone, but a spot is hard to find. It is a very competitive and interesting market, with many possibilities.

And co-production is also a solution…

Co-production is ultimately alliances and they are very important precisely to get to strengthen this industry at the level of talent, production companies and broadcast platforms or networks. We are seeing it with the public channels, which have joined forces and want to join forces more. Yesterday we talked about the first Portugal-Spain co-production. More and more, these models have to be applied, they are not easy because co-productions have to be organic, but there is so much wealth of talent, so much creativity, that I think we can find these contents that justify and favor co-productions, which can be international or national…

Will there be a Conecta Fiction 6?

Of course there will be a Connect 6! We are going to rest a bit, but there will be a Conecta 6 to at least see yesterday’s winners: who moved forward, who managed to get produced… We have been lucky enough to see Yrreal, which has been done in less than a year and hopefully with yesterday’s awards there is a project that next year we can announce that is done as well. There will be a Conecta 6 to continue offering this space to meet, because more than anything these days the need to meet again has been very clear.

But before that there’s a new OnSeries Lisboa. What can you tell us about this event?

From Inside Content we are also organizing the first edition of OnSeries Lisboa, which was going to be last year in April but it has obviously been canceled. We are going to do an edition on November 25 and 26. It is an event that’s much more focused on content in Portuguese, both from Portugal and from Brazil, obviously with an international focus, to put a little light on all this content from these two countries, because right now there is a wave of new producers that are developing high-level series and I think it is very interesting to meet this new generation of talents and producers that are arriving.