The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Virtual CMC

CMC Editorial Director Greg Childs (who also happens to be Director of the Children's Media Foundation) outlines what's happening to the popular kids' industry event in response to the crisis.

Once it became obvious that large-scale gatherings were not going to be permitted even in the early summer, we knew the writing was on the wall for the Children's Media Conference. With 1200 delegates mixing and mingling in Sheffield it was clearly not going to take place in the way it had for the previous 17 years.

We moved quickly to investigate technical options for virtual delivery, and we consulted with our amazing Advisory Committee - who are a complete cross-section of the industry - about how they felt our regular customers would take to the change to online.

It was in the committee that the concept of rebranding as the Children's Media Community emerged - and the slightly tongue in cheek reworking of our theme from Right Here Right Now to... Still Here Right Now.

The temporary rebranding reflected the discussion we had about what we were trying to achieve in keeping the conference alive for 2020.  Clearly there are commercial considerations, but the main point was that the kids' industry values coming together for shared learning, doing business, getting creative inspiration and hearing all the news and gossip.

At times like this with so many people working from home - here was a distinct need to continue to reflect the spirit of community. So we decided to be there right away for the kids' media professionals who make up our audience.

We have launched a fortnightly series of hour-long webinars which reflect the familiar approach to content in the conference - and are produced by volunteers as is always the case with CMC. They offer a chance to keep up with the latest trends, issues and discussions on a regular basis. We launched the first of this season on 24 April with "Kids in the Time of Corona" - a look at how media, personal and social lives are changing for children and teenagers under lock-down. Research from Dubit and KidsKnowBest and a great video made at home by dozens of young people for the Rocket agency filled the hour.

You can see the webinar in full on our new YouTube channel, where there are also over 70 videos from the CMC archive, featuring Keynotes, Masterclasses, Changemakers and so on.  All the future online content will be there.

And planning is under way for a virtual version of the CMC Conference in early July.  A collection of content, kept to manageable levels for people accessing it from home, some of it live and some of it "on demand" - making up the eclectic mix of information, insights and inspiration that CMC always offers.

To keep up with CMC and its various virtual offers - you can subscribe to our e-bulletin on our hompage.

 

Events Industry

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