Daniel Barkowski (35) is taking the baton from Katja Gross, who will leave for maternity leave again after she just came back into business after last Popkomm 2008.
The new head Barkowski, now in charge of giving new directions or at least offering solutions to a tailspinning branch has no experience and background in the music industry himself. He organised YOU, Europe’s biggest fair for teenage-lifestyle. It’s hard not to understand his case as a hint that Messe Berlin is not willing to develop Popkomm into the conference based event the industry requested for years. Messe Berlin argues there was ‘music stages at YOU too’, which might not necessarily be seen as a strong recommendation.
We are curious who he will call into his new team and when we will learn about the names.
But the crux will be, how Popkomm will manage to maintain and upgrade the most promising elements former conference manager Patricia Schwan has developed: new business awards, matchmaking sessions with preselected parties, closed doors meetings with head strategiests of the branch, just to name a few.
On the other hand Popkomm will face the challenge to transform a fair based concept into a networking event based on knowledge transfer. Maybe this is what they aim at when talking about ‘involving other affiliated branches’.
And I really do hope, they keep their ‘trouble desk’ at the entrance!