Bommel Sheds Light On Upcoming MIDEM 2007 Conference Events, Part 2

Bommel Sheds Light On Upcoming MIDEM 2007 Conference Events, Part 2

Interview With JP Bommel, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, MIDEM

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I recently interviewed JP Bommel, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, MIDEM, who is based in New York City, NY, U.S.A. In the interview below, we discuss what is in store for the fortunate music industry representatives who will attend the 2007 MidemNet conferences, and 21-25 January 2007, at the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France. Below is part two of our interview. Part one can be found at the following link: “Interview With NYC-based JP Bommel, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, MIDEM”

[Anne Freeman] JP, what can be anticipate with regard to music at MIDEM 2007?

B> JP Bommel Last year we had about 37 live concerts and 108 groups, I think weπre going to top that this year. You know, I was talking to one of our potential sponsors about what we were going to do, and they were so excited. The Opening Night will have a great ambiance. We had a meeting the other day with EMI Publishing about some music that they want to present. It was very exciting. You will be there?

[Anne Freeman] Absolutely!!

width=”175″ height=”257″ hspace=”2″ vspace=”2″ border=”0″ align=”left”> Wednesday there are more conferences and workshops. We also do have different auditoriums to cover different sectors. One sector that weπre trying to cover this year is Latin Music. We see great opportunities for growth of Latin Music in Europe. Immigration opportunities around Europe bring a lot of opportunities to bring Latin Americans to Europe for work, so that music is taking off.

On Tuesday night weπll feature a Reggaeton Concert. Weπll have smaller showcases with smaller record labels and groups, so weπre looking to have some Latin Sound and Latin Music at MIDEM, as well as well as different panels. Weπre working with different people from Latin American to bring us some panels on Urban Latin and Latin Music.

[Anne Freeman] JP, there is plenty of music and educational opportunities at MIDEM, but there are also many, many exhibitors.

JP Bommel Weπll have two floors of exhibitors at the Palais de Festival.

[Anne Freeman] Itπs huge.

JP Bommel You know, there is a misconception out there that MIDEM is a publishing company affair. Itπs actually a record company affair. Fifty percent of the people who come to MIDEM are from the record companies. There are the Majors, but it is a great independent market. But, itπs definitely a business-to-business market.

[Anne Freeman] MusicDish conducted business at last yearπs MIDEM, and weπre busy making appointments at this time for MIDEM 2007. Our experience is that MIDEM truly is a business-oriented conference, despite the many opportunities during the conference to enjoy music from around the world.

JP Bommel We work very hard to ensure that participants have the information and tools they require to prepare themselves beforehand for MIDEM. We have many clients who set up meetings prior to coming to MIDEM; as early as mid-November they start putting together their meetings. Our participant database is highly searchable.

[Anne Freeman] Using the MIDEM participant database, weπve been able to search using company name, country, region, type of business, if they are an exhibitor, and more. The database is worth the price of admission to MIDEM, alone.

JP Bommel There are costs involved to attending MIDEM ≠ transportation, hotels, if you have a booth. But, we have companies large enough to have distribution with Universal to the smallest record company in Eastern Europe, and they are making money at MIDEM because they are prepared.

That is something that we try to do with our clients. When we sign new clients, we focus on making sure that they get themselves prepared for MIDEM. So, that is why we have the highest return of customers in the industry.

[Anne Freeman] I see that you also have a group of new exhibitors coming to MIDEM this year, as well.

JP Bommel Yes. We are working with the A2IM, the Association of American Independent Music. They have put together a pavilion on the second exhibit floor, so that independents that cannot afford an exhibit space of their own can come through the A2IM pavilion.

[Anne Freeman] JP, Iπd like to talk a little about the North and South American Markets at MIDEM, as that is your responsibility. Youπve mentioned that Latin Music will be a feature at MIDEM, including music and panels focusing on the business side of Latin Music. I noticed that in the list of exhibitors, many countries have country pavilions, but the U.S. does not. Why is that?

JP Bommel No, but we have the American record companies. We have over 57 national pavilions at MIDEM, including countries such as Brazil. The national pavilions happen because the governments of those countries provide the funds and the means for people to export their music.

In the U.S., we donπt have the luxury of government-funded pavilion, so we tried to approach it creatively and help the A2IM, through a sponsor, to exhibit at MIDEM. We get that kind of support. Independent music is very important to MIDEM, because that is really what MIDEM is all about.

[Anne Freeman] Does Canada have a pavilion?

JP Bommel Yes, they have two, actually.

[Anne Freeman] Who from Latin America will be attending?

JP Bommel Brazil will return. The newcomers from Latin America this year will be Argentina, Mexico, and Columbia. Columbia is a country that has been extremely rich in producing music in the past ten years, after the oppression was over with. They gave us Shakira. Columbia is coming up as an extremely creative country with enormous talent. We have their independent records companies coming to MIDEM.

[Anne Freeman] For a new record label, publisher, artist representative, or others who are interested in getting more information in being an exhibitor at MIDEM, whom should they contact and how?

JP Bommel They should contact myself or anybody in the MIDEN New York Office. The phone number is 212-284-5142, which is the MIDEM hotline. Depending upon what needs they have, we will switch them to the right person. If itπs exhibitors, advertising, or participation in MIDEM, we are trying to streamline the process so that they have one person to call. They could also go on the website and e-mail us.

[Anne Freeman] I spent quite a bit of time last year on the MIDEM website, whether it was browsing the database of participants, looking a floor maps of the exhibitor halls, reviewing the concert and event schedules, reading the descriptions of presentations and presenter bios ? there is a wealth of information on the website.

JP Bommel The website is a great place to go to orient themselves to MIDEM, but anybody who has any questions should call.

[Anne Freeman] Let me ask you a about the artist participation at MIDEM. A lot of companies are bringing their artists. There are shows, showcases, and concerts. I see that MIDEM accepted artist packages via SonicBids for the independent music contest called “Buzz Bands.” Although the bands have been selected for MIDEM 2007, please tell us how this works for labels and bands hoping to submit to MIDEM 2008.

JP Bommel Yes, we have a tremendous partnership with SonicBids. We started working with them three years ago. Basically, bands submit their music via SonicBids, which is a company that caters to the independent market, including the promoters and the touring community, to help them discover new music and bands. This is site where a band or anybody can put their photos, their music and their press kit online.

The bands would then select the option to be submitted to the MIDEM Buzz Bands contest. We select eight bands to perform at MIDEM and be discovered. Itπs a great way for a band to come to MIDEM. Of course, last year we had 2,000 entries.

[Anne Freeman] I guess I shouldnπt advertise this on MusicDish! Youπll be inundated.

JP Bommel You know, MIDEM is a place where you either sell your music or you buy music. People should definitely check out those showcases at MIDEM, because music has been discovered there. Definitely check out the Buzz Bands showcase at the Martinez Hotel with Sonic Bids.

[Anne Freeman] JP, I noticed last year that MIDEM has attorneys, shipping agencies, business offices ≠ itπs seems as if you can actually make business deals there.

JP Bommel Absolutely. We have a great service called “MIDEM Avenue” at MIDEM. The “Midem Avenue” is a place where the people who are not exhibitors, but who come to do business, will have an opportunity to set up meetings. Thereπs a lawyersπ desk, there is a PR desk, thereπs a press office ? we can help them achieve whatever goal they want. We have lawyers there who will help you to get those deals done.

We also have a tremendous amount of lawyers who come to MIDEM just because there are so many deals to be done. They are here to serve their clients. There are lawyers in attendance from large and small firms, and independents. We also have in our association with the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, or IAEL. They meet every year at MIDEM, and they have different services that they provide at MIDEM.

We also invite all of the association bodies, such as NARAS, the RIAA, and associations from around the world, so there is a sense of community with the professional associations being here. We have a breakfast for all of them so they can all get together and socialize.

[Anne Freeman] It seems to me, JP, that MIDEM is far more than workshops, music and exhibitors. It appears that MIDEM, as an organization, works very diligently to help business to happen there.

JP Bommel Thatπs exactly right. We tell people that weπre not an event; weπre a partner. We are a partner in the commerce of music. We facilitate the commerce of music on the global basis at MIDEM. Thatπs really what we do, and we do that because of the relationships that we have with companies. Very often, we will put together companies.

For example, we had a small carrier of cell phone companies for the former republic of Ukraine, who wanted to meet Motorola. We set it up. We set up meetings and help them. Very often, we have small, independent artists or labels who want to know how they can meet with a large publisher. Let us deal with it, weπll put it together. We do that all of the time.

[Anne Freeman] Speaking of meetings, for the person who is planning on attending the first or second time, setting up business meetings is what this is all about. What does that mean, to set p meetings at MIDEM?

JP Bommel First, defining your goals. What are you trying to do at MIDEM? What is your goal? Are you going there to get your music distributed? Are you going there to get a license? To develop a relationship around the world for ringtones? What is your goal?

From that point on, you go on the database meet that goal. You set up meetings, and the way you set up meetings at MIDEM, if you donπt have an office or a stand, is that you tell them to meet you at Midem Avenue, or to meet you at the bar downstairs, or you use the mailboxes that we set up.

Be clear on what youπre trying to achieve in the first year. Donπt go nuts and try to achieve too much. Focus on a couple of areas, and stay in touch with us so that we know what youπre doing in terms of helping you find companies to meet. Be very precise about what your goals at MIDEM.

[Anne Freeman] This is one aspect that distinguishes MIDEM from any other conference Iπve attended, and Iπve attended many: and that is making business happen.

JP Bommel Absolutely. Not everyone is going the same direction, so we have different tracks. If you are a small label for California, and you want to set up distribution deals in Europe and maybe ringtones in Asia, you can do all that if you are very clear about what your goals are, and donπt try to do too much. Be very focus, and youπre going to have a fantastic MIDEM and you will come back next year.

[Anne Freeman] JP, one suggestion I would make to anyone who is attending MIDEM for the first time is to drink a lot a coffee, because youπre going to be awake a lot!

JP Bommel Well, that too. Make sure that you have a good blend of meetings, and then enjoy the panels of the conferences. We leave enough time after the panels to permit people to meet with the panelists. If there is an area that you are interested, then go to the corresponding panel and exchange business cards afterwards. Take advantage of the networking opportunities. Create a relationship with them and talk to them later, because they are at MIDEM for the week.

[Anne Freeman] Another part of MIDEM that I found to be absolutely delightful, which is not an “official” part of MIDEM, but still an important part of the MIDEM experience. And that is after the conference day is over, you go to one the many delightful restaurants in Cannes for dinner. Youπll see MIDEM participants everywhere, wearing their badges. Dinner is another couple of hours of dinning and conversation, a great glass of wine, a wonderful meal, and then some more coffee so that you can stay awake to take in the terrific music happening everywhere. There is a dinner culture that surrounds the conference itself.

JP Bommel The social aspect of MIDEM at Cannes is that geographically located because itπs all one strip on the beach at Cannes. There are three major hotels, so once the conference and exhibition hall shuts down, MIDEM organizes many events throughout the evening at the hotels. We have showcases, happy hour, certain dinner events
and different events provided by our clients. You should pace yourself during the day, because youπre going to be very busy at night.

[Anne Freeman] And, itπs fun, too. It is a wonderful experience.

JP Bommel Every night I do the rounds. I go to the Carlton Hotel, I go the Martinez Hotel, I go to the Majestic Hotel, and run into people everywhere, so you have to be very, very present. You have to show up to all of those things, and youπll make a tremendous amount of contacts. And itπs friendly. Itπs very interesting at MIDEM. The big players will drop their guards. The big attorneys and CEOs are talking to the little guys.

[Anne Freeman] One thing I noticed when speaking to people at MIDEM is how many people come back year after year.

JP Bommel They come back every year because MIDEM is the one time of year when you are going to do your international business. This is international week. Itπs like Fashion Week in Paris. Everybody is there. You donπt have to travel all over the place ≠ you go to Cannes for one week. Then you are able to talk on the phone to people you meet in Cannes when you return and throughout the year.

At MIDEM you create the initial contact, and you continue with your relationships afterwards. We have people who have been doing MIDEM for 40 years ≠ they have their own routines and habits, where they stay, where they eat.

[Anne Freeman] One last question, JP. This goes towards the American audience. We have a very distinct business culture. Itπs not uncommon for Americans to conduct business without having met face to face. Is there a difference, in particular, in doing business in Europe and Asia? How important are face to face meetings?

JP Bommel Very important. Again, itπs the language of music, so there is no cultural barrier. Everybody speaks English. For some reason, MIDEM is a “no passport zone.” Everybody is the same, everybody is from the same country, everybody is from the same walk of life, which is their love of music. There is no protocol ≠ everyone talks together. They talk about music.

My point is that there is not much of a cultural difference because these people come from all over the world. There are no political differences ≠ those kinds of things donπt even come up. What comes up is, “How is this tour?” “How am I doing in Germany with my band?” “How can I make it on radio in Japan?” Thatπs the kind of conversations they have. Cultural differences are something that I never seen be a problem at MIDEM.

[Anne Freeman] That is good information for someone whoπs never been to MIDEM to know. I can vouch for what you are saying ≠ it truly is an extraordinary experience.

JP Bommel Somebody whoπs never been there before, get your meetings set up using the data base. Go out the evening. Look at your program and go to the MIDEM-sponsored events. You will always find people who are interested in you. Thatπs why people go there – to meet other people and to do business.

[Anne Freeman] Thank you, JP, for you insights into MIDEM. Iπm looking forward to seeing you at MIDEM 2007, and meeting many other music business compatriots from around the world.

To register now for Midem 2007, the World Music Market, visit Receive a 10% discount on the conference registration by registering online by January 18, 2007.

Some key Midem statistics:


(% of companies in each activity)

* Recording: 50%

* Publishing: 33%

* Licensing: 29%

* Production: 28%

* CD/DVD distribution: 20%

* Audio & Video: 20%

* Digital & Media: 19%

* Artist management: 18%

* Live music: 17%

Youπll find just about every single music genre represented at the market, with specialized sections for Classical, Jazz, Electronic and Urban.

To register now for Midem 2007, the World Music Market, visit


JP Bommel, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, NYC Office, Tel: +1 212 284 5145

360 Park Avenue South – 14th Floor, New York, NY 10010, USA

Tel: +1 212 284 5142 / Fax: +1 212 284 5148

General sales enquiries:

Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright ? MusicDish LLC 2006 – Republished with Permission

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