Now that you’ve spent the money, gotten the badge, and are deep inside the belly of the beast that is the Kidscreen Summit, there are a few things that you should probably know. Nobody else will tell you these things but I will. Why? Because I am mysteriously compelled to stand in the harbor of the kids’ business like the Statue of Liberty and guide the huddled masses to our industry’s rocky shores. So, below is my list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Kidscreen Summit. Feel free to use or ignore them as you please.
Do Reconfirm Appointments – Remember when you used to have to reconfirm international flights or you would lose your seat? Well, the same is true of Kidscreen meetings. It’s always wise to reconfirm your meetings the night before just to be certain you’re still in someone’s book. If someone does forget you, just politely try to reschedule.
Don’t Whip Out A Puppet Or A Guitar – There is a common misconception that a performance and a pitch are the same thing. They are not. If you start to perform during a pitch you will just make everyone very uncomfortable. If you want to “show” something at Kidscreen, show a very well-made series bible or a well-produced piece of tape.
Don’t Bother Anyone Who’s In A Meeting – This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised by how many people will come over to you in the middle of a pitch and start telling you about their trip to Playa del Carmen. The correct protocol at Kidscreen is to leave anyone who’s in a meeting alone. Don’t even give them your shy little wave.
Do Have A Short Memory – Unless you’re Mother Theresa, you have done something to piss off somebody in the kids’ business and someone has done something to piss you off. Forget about it. This is such a small pond that you have more to gain, including your own sanity, by letting bygones be bygones. Whatever the injustices, try to let them go.
Don’t Try To Make Others Jealous – The worst thing in a meeting is when someone tells you, “Well, you should really take my show because I just met with X and Y and they are going to make me an offer.” Trust me, this approach just makes you look naive and desperate. The only name you should ever drop in a pitch is the name of your own show.
Do Get A Good Night’s Sleep – Nothing productive ever happens after 11:00 pm and many unproductive things do. There are few experiences more disappointing than seeing someone you respect in kids’ TV behaving badly after hours. And you’re better off not being tagged in photos in bars.
Do Allow For Serendipity – I like it when things are well-planned but, as my mentor Cathy Chilco taught me, the best things in life are simply unplannable. Kidscreen is ripe with fortuitous moments, unforeseen connections, and good old fashioned luck. You have to stay loose and veer off plan whenever a new meeting or opportunity arises. Only then will you truly squeeze the orange that is Kidscreen.
I could go on but I’m sure we both have better things to do this week than read (or write) another blog. I wish you great success at Kidscreen. May all your meetings start on time. May all your shows get picked up. And may your toys get three feet of shelf space at Walmart, right next to mine.