News & Views

M-CONNECT: a grand event to connect the dots and picture the future

On 18 May 2022, over 150 people from all corners of the media industry gathered in Berlin to talk about their challenges, ambitions and vision to connect the dots in a new reality. They came from all corners of the media industry, delegated by 47 media companies in 17 countries to participate in the 18th edition of our MEDIAGENIX User Advisory (UAB). People who couldn’t make it registered to follow plenary sessions by live stream. But 18 May also saw the start of a new initiative, our very first Business Advisory Board (BAB). UAB and BAB blended into a grand and unique two-day M-CONNECT event. What a way to celebrate our 30th anniversary as a company!

Our 18th User Advisory Board

The UAB is very popular among WHATS’ON key users, system administrators, and diverse operational and managerial people as it focuses on technological innovations, new developments in WHATS’ON, and the direction our Media Business Management Platform should take at the heart of the connected content supply chain. It is a pleasant mix of plenary sessions, interactive breakout sessions, and ample networking opportunities. People exchange ideas, inspire each other and network in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere elegantly facilitated by a well-oiled organization.

Our first Business Advisory Board

For the first time, we invited senior executives from across the content industries to our Business Advisory Board. They came to Berlin to discuss trends, emerging challenges, and business strategies in which the connected content supply chain plays a key role. The central theme was “Transforming the Modern Media Enterprise – The Main Challenges in the Era of Multi-platform TV and Streaming Services”. This kind of think tank keeps us alert to rapid changes and evolves our ‘content supply chain’ thinking about Content ROI.

Topics included:

  • next-generation multi-channel audience engagement;
  • hands-on strategy and decision-making through actionable content and audience intelligence leveraging AI/ML;
  • how to practically drive monetization and content lifetime value;
  • lean digital media workflows: how to connect the dots within and across organizations.

“It was a good idea to combine UAB and BAB. We had more opportunities to network.”

UAB + BAB = M-CONNECT

UAB and BAB blended into a great and unique M-CONNECT event. Jon Watts, co-founder and Executive Director of the Project X Institute, hosted the plenary M-CONNECT sessions and led the BAB.

Keynote speaker Steven Van Belleghem opened the day with a special assignment: “Be the customer’s lifetime partner. Just like the oxpecker on the back of the rhino who warns the rhino of approaching danger, be always around, but only to bring value at the right time. Otherwise, you are just being intrusive.”

This inspired a panel discussion among MEDIAGENIX senior management. They scanned the different areas of change to detect opportunities where we can become the friction hunter in the content supply chain and connect the dots of the different workflows.

A treasure trove of updates and insights

While the BAB mainly ran in parallel from then on, the UAB participants gained insights into the following topics:

  • WHATS’ON HIVE, the independent yet connected lean content supply chain and its seamless interaction with WHATS’ON Base;
  • how the WHATS’ON release train takes the client to the Cloud;
  • how easy it can be to manage content with collaborative workflows;
  • improvements and new functionalities in WHATS’ON planning and scheduling;
  • optimizing the content lifecycle with BI and AI tools for all the different stages, featuring the Content Cockpit, Rating Predictions, and Scheduling Artist;
  • the wonders of the WHATS’ON Orchestrator and WHATS’ON HIVE workflow orchestration in action;
  • the priorities of the WHATS’ON roadmap.

We particularly enjoyed an eye-opening digital-first presentation by Tanja likkanen, head of Finland’s biggest streaming service, Yle Areena, and Mikko Kivinen, Product Owner, Video Content Management and Content Acquisition at Yle, Finland’s national public broadcaster. They talked about the big change in media: from one-to-many to one-to-one, which requires customer-centric thinking, hyper-personalization, and data that tells the truth. Tanja and Mikko emphasized that content metadata and user metadata are critical to developing engaging content promises.

Celebrating our 30th anniversary on a Berlin rooftop

The dinner event of this grand M-CONNECT gathering was the ideal occasion to celebrate our 30th anniversary as a company. On a Berlin rooftop, we were surrounded by the kind of people who have always inspired us, from the very beginning in 1992 when we wrote a scheduling program for the first commercial television station in Flanders (VTM).

Day 2: Connect Day

Day 2 was Connect Day, with interactive customer cases and breakout sessions.

The breakout sessions offered a wide choice of topics so that people with the same concerns spontaneously found each other. They brought their own angle to the table, which always makes for lively discussions. This is about sharing experiences and best practices and learning from each other.

UKTV Technology Manager George Britton told us about the activities and priorities of the London User Forum. Get rid of the Excel grid! That was what Esther Jacobs, Process Manager RTV at Talpa TV, and Talpa Multiplatform Operations Manager Wouter Schreuder more than suggested. Morten Engberg Stensgaard, Strategic TV Lead at TV 2 Danmark, told us about his experience with WHATS’ON Promoplan in a daily reality where media plans use a lot of different media vehicles and need to be very dynamic to deal with constant change.

“An absolute success. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to meet the whole MEDIAGENIX team as well as the other participants and broadcasters from around the world using WHATS’ON.”

We’ll meet again

What an action-packed, informative, and inspiring rollercoaster these two M-CONNECT days have been! We particularly enjoyed how genuinely happy everyone was to Connect again. We are so grateful to all participants for their enthusiastic, open and outspoken attitude. They help us connect the dots and hunt friction in the content supply chain. We are so proud we know them, we treasure the pleasure of working with them, and we will always stay connected.

“All in all a very good conference and I will certainly look forward to the next one. Thanks!”

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