NATPE's Director of Event Programming Christina AndrewsNATPE: News Article
...NATPE's Director of Event Programming Christina Andrews
for over 12 years in various positions, Christina Vergara Andrews
has been the association's director of event programming for a little less than a year.In this role, Andrews works closely with NATPE's CEO Rick Feldman to develop the agenda for the NATPE annual conference with the goal of stimulating new ideas and opportunities and promoting growth within the television industry.
also programs and produces NATPE's TV Producers' Boot Camp ...
"Rick is very hands-on and by the time the two of us sit down in August and September to begin shaping the conference agenda, he already amassed so many great ideas that it's more of a honing process," explains Andrews
greatest challenges, says Andrews
, "is to make sure we're addressing the various levels within the industry, so that the seasoned veteran benefits just as much as those attending NATPE for the first time."
In an effort to appeal to all levels of television executives, NATPE
offers various tracks of seminars, from Boot Camp sessions that address industry newcomers and emerging technologies to the "big picture" broad overview sessions and special keynote addresses."We try to approach a topic from a number of different angles and also provide opportunities across the three days of NATPE
so that all attendees have an opportunity to interact, participate and learn from their NATPE
Once the sessions are selected, Andrews
focus to identifying and securing speakers -- seeking out the experts on a particular subject and industry executives with demonstrated experience in the specific area.Certain topics are easier to secure speakers for than others, according to Andrews
."When we choose the 'big picture' topics, we also usually have the speakers in mind," says Andrews
"There are so many topics that we could focus on," explains Andrews
, "that it becomes very difficult to winnow them down to the handful of focused seminars that we can accommodate."
In terms of structuring panel participation, Andrews
says the organization has found that four speakers is the ideal number, allowing for diverse opinions and enough time to adequately express them.Says Andrews
: "If you get over five people involved, the conversation becomes unmanageable, which limits the number of speakers overall."And the earlier she
can confirm participants, the better.
"We'll be announcing keynote speakers and seminar participants shortly and believe we're well on track for presenting an exciting agenda for NATPE
new role, Andrews
also revamped the curriculum for NATPE's TV Producers' Boot Camp from 10 educational sessions to an offering of over 25 panels, workshops, clinics and activities geared to emerging independent producers.The workshops and sessions were led by working entertainment professionals, many of whom also lecture at USC
.As a result, NATPE's 3rd Boot Camp grew 44% in attendance over the previous year.
It was during her
earlier incarnation supporting NATPE?s president that Andrews
was first exposed to event programming."I accumulated more and more experience managing special projects and events and really enjoyed that aspect of my job," she
reveals."There was always another project right around the corner, and I enjoyed that level of activity and interacting with the members, the executive board and the industry executives that we were honoring or inviting to participate in our events and projects.I have always found that very gratifying and rewarding."
12 years at NATPE
has managed membership activities, including recruiting, retention and member service development, and has coordinated the Educational Foundation's activities and programs as well as having supported the CEO and board of directors.
Under the auspices of the Educational Foundation
coordinated several industry internships and mentorships for promising students and independent producers.She
also oversaw the Pitch Me! pre-screenings and logistics for several years.This popular event drew an audience of 1,000 annually to watch 15 independent producer finalists compete for pitch meetings and cash.
Over the years, Andrews
has also mentored numerous support staff and volunteers, grooming them for greater responsibility.In fact, when industry-wide budget cutbacks affected NATPE several years ago, Andrews created the NATPE office internship program.She
recruited volunteers to handle clerical, managerial and administrative tasks for the association in exchange for the opportunity to attend its annual conference and exhibition.