Coronavirus pitching Coronavirus pitching

Many animation festivals and conferences on the fall calendar have already announced that their 2020 editions will be turning virtual, but at least one event is forging ahead with plans to hold an in-person event.

Cartoon Forum, Europe’s important co-production platform for animated series, has announced plans to proceed with its next edition, currently set for September 14-17 in Toulouse, France.

It won’t be business as usual though. The organizers have published a long list of health measures and programming changes that they’re implementing to hold the event in the midst of a global pandemic.

Among those requirements is that attendees will be required to wear a mask inside the conference center, and will need to bring two masks for each full day of the event.

Since everybody will be wearing a mask, Cartoon Forum has made the novel suggestion that attendees should turn their personal protective equipment into a brand extension opportunity by creating custom masks with an illustration of the project they’re pitching or their company logo.

It might look something like this mask recently sported by Mary Costa, the voice of Princess Aurora in the 1959 Disney feature Sleeping Beauty:

Here are some of the other measures that are being implemented for the 2020 version of Cartoon Forum:

  • A distance of one meter (about 3 feet) will be enforced between attendees during the pitch presentations, so seating in the conference rooms will be staggered and reduced by half. A tiered queue system will be used, allowing buyers and investors to enter the presentation rooms first, followed by a second line for producers and other participants.
  • Cartoon Forum’s Coaching Program, geared towards animation schools, will not take place this year to both “leave more space for professionals” and “prevent the rooms from being filled in by students.”
  • The lunches that are organized for attendees will not take place this year and participants will be asked to have lunch outside of the conference center.
  • The Welcome and Farewell dinners, as well as a cocktail party, are cancelled.
  • There will be no spotlighted country this year at the event and the Cartoon Tributes awards will not be awarded this year.
  • No bus shuttle will be organized to and from the airport.
  • The price of the event is being reduced from 1,000 euros to 850 euros since meals are not being offered to participants.

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