Issue: July 1, 2006


Last month, Promax/BDA took place in New York City, with designers and marketing execs coming together to discuss the state of broadcast design. The show was attended by more than 3,400 — up from last year — and plans are already in the works for next year’s return to The Big Apple.

Promax/BDA is a three-day event, filled with panel discussions, networking opportunities and tech demonstrations. Many come for the panels, whose topics cover design subjects relating to cable, broadband, HD, brand building, makeovers and mobile devices, among others, so there’s something for everyone.

Elaine Cantwell of Santa Monica’s Spark was in town for the show. Cantwell has participated in panels in the past, but this year enjoyed her role solely as a spectator. She’s been coming to BDA for 10 years, and while she doesn’t see obvious trends from year to year, she has noticed a change over time. “It’s a whole new game,” she says of the business. “TV is splintered and so is design.” Multiplatform, she says is growing. “The audience is broader but the message is more focused. It all comes back to content.”

Andy Hann of Concrete Pictures, near Philly, was also at the show. The studio recently did a rebrand for The Travel Channel and is working on a mobile design project for Discovery. Hann believes the flat graphic look has run its course and that 3D is making a comeback.

And Richard Frank of Burbank’s Studio NWE was in town to meet up with colleagues and attend the sessions. “Some sessions have been really terrific,” says Frank, who’s interested in topics ranging from HD to mobile devices, “but they have not talked about ‘original’ content.”

There were a number of music libraries at the show, including Groove Addicts, Manhattan Production Music, Megatrax, Musicbox, Non-Stop Music, Selectracks and 615 Music.
Stephen Arnold of Stephen Arnold Music says that while the show attracts broadcast heavyweights, “the typical attendee is a lower level producer” who, he says, often has the power to request libraries or original music. “It’s a chance to be there and make a face-to-face contact with existing and potential prospects.”