2014 was my 5th Midem in a row and I’ve already booked my lodging for the conference’s 2015 edition.
Why? Midem is the global centrepiece of the modern music industry.
In 4 days I am able to pack in more meetings than I’m able to do in months. We all know this, but despite our connected world, there is nothing like meeting with new and existing colleagues to discuss business plans in person.
But beyond direct deals that positively affect our business, the history and relevance of what Midem is now provides constant inspiration for us all. If you haven’t checked out Paul McGuinness’ speech on management while accepting the Billboard Industry Icon Award, do yourself a favour and read it here.
The advice Paul doled out was quite simple on success in management: “Find a great client.” As a young manager who sat to my right and I watched U2 deliver a message about Paul saying “We were designed for success by Paul McGuinness,” Ben Turner of Graphite Media and I looked at each other and, without speaking, knew we were both wondering if we would be lucky enough to have a management partnership with an artist that outlasts most marriages.
Similarly, I had the absolute honour to interview the one and only Seymour Stein, which you can view here (photo above). Again, Seymour boiled it down to straightforward advice. As I toil over strategy and making sure artists find a clear path, Seymour said there is only one thing that matters: “It comes down to the songs.”
I don’t know anywhere else where I am able to get so close to the industry generation who came before me to glean advice on how we can continue to move our field forward. Intertwine one of the best tech, marketing and sync scenes; set it on the Mediterranean, and the experience becomes truly one of a kind.
People often ask me if the trip to Midem is “worth it.” I find this thinking shortsighted as we all have loads of examples of relationships we make that come to fruition in other ways. But for the people who need direct results, I came out of Midem with:
– new deals for our artists
– a consulting project beyond my wildest dreams
– newly-monetised platforms to work with
– and contacts that help all areas of our businesses (sports and comedy in addition to music).
Beyond that, the energy around Midem is one reason why I’ll never miss it. Under one roof I am able to do deals, connect with legends, meet with students, and deepen my ties with our industry on a personal yet global level.
Midem is here to inspire, educate and unite. I can’t wait to see you in Cannes next year.
Emily White is the co-founder of Whitesmith Entertainment, through which she manages artists such as Brendan Benson and GOLD MOTEL. She is a frequent contributor to midemblog. Don’t miss her previous post, on why it’s time to stop complaining about streaming; one of our most-shared ever!