MIDEM: The Ultimate Music Conference

Before MIDEM I had been to two other music industry conferences: IndieCon (London) during the latter part of 2013 and Winter Music Conference (Miami) in 2010. Though I feel as if I could have better prepared for MIDEM this year, I believe having previously been to conferences gave me insight as how to navigate the three days of panels and lectures.
I particularly enjoyed the marketing competition and the presentations on negotiating and sync (both of which were in the training room). In retrospect, one common theme linking all of the presentations and showcases together was the idea of creating value for all participating parties in projects and creative ventures.
In the marketing competition, many of the presentations focused on the results of each individual campaign. The speakers highlighted the benefits generated for fans, brand sponsors, and artists and were eventually judged based on the equity produced by their marketing plan. The winning marketing campaign was able to reach the greatest amount of people by producing and sharing engaging and meaningful content.
Similarly, Andrea Johnson’s presentation regarding new methods for effective synchronization emphasized the importance of relevant participation in audio/visual projects. Johnson used two examples of effective audio/visuals (Beyonce/Pepsi commercial and a Redbull/Cranberry mini doc) to demonstrate how all of the participating parties in the projects were able to ultimately gain brand value. In contrast, a Justin Bieber endorsed Macy’s commercial was cited as an ineffective final product as it failed to establish a connection between the cologne that was being sold, the brand (Macy’s), and the celebrity feature (JB).
Attending an industry conference is difficult as a student. You don’t necessarily have much to offer other more experienced professionals and much of what is being presented seems far beyond anything that might be attainable with your current skill set. Regardless, I think that students can take away important messages from panels, lectures, and presenters even if they have trouble directly connecting with the content. Creating value is imperative in the music industry and is the grease on the wheels of virtually any creative project. Being able to effectively identify, design, and communicate value to co-workers and clients is a necessary skill that anyone can fine tune, no matter what stage of their professional career.

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