Berlin Music Week / Popkomm – the big Who is Who

While I was at Midem, people kept interrogating me about Popkomm.

I didn't get it...

During my stay I met people from the Popkomm team itself, I also met guys from the Berlin Music Commission, there was a bus cruising along the Croisette, being all branded ‘Berlin Music Week‘, Berlin’s well recommended Club Commission told me they are part of this, same as the German Indie Ass. VUT. And there was another bunch from an organization called a2n, that did a small event last year, sort of a last minute Popkomm replacement. Not to forget the Berlin Festival that will be the reason for a public day at Popkomm.

All of them told me about being involved in the Berlin Music Week, all of them are organizing events, trade shows, conferences, festival, showcases, matchmaking sessions, whatever during the second week of September, but what I missed is the connection, the link between all this parties. Are they competitors that just happen during the same time by accident, or is there some big headline, a common vision all this trade show organizers, event agencies, club owners, recording industry companies share and follow?

I was confused and didn’t get the point, and obviously – being asked such a lot about Popkomm and not about the Berlin Music Week – many others didn’t too.

So I sent a mail asking for information for this very blog, and I sent another mail stating I was a company interested in attending plus showcase options and panel visibility. Something like this:
– will you do a conference/ showcases/ trade show/ networking event yourself and why?
– how many venues, where and how many showcases / artists will you feature?
– how many panels, where and how many workshops will you feature?
– will there be a matchmaking event?
– what happened to Popkomms pre-event think tank in Potsdam that was held in cooperation with Peter Jenner / are there any plans to reinitiate this / with which partners?
– what will the application process (e.g. for showcases) be alike / incl. operational schedule?
– you mentioned the new public day was due to clients requests, can you unravel which clients/ companies this actually were (at least their status – major/indie, or branch)?
– how  will your event / part of Berlin Music Week be communicated for the b2b crowd (programme, etc.) and
– how will you keep control, will it be coordinated / scheduled with the Berlin music week and other events happening parallel?
– which actual persons are in charge, whom can I ask for directions.
– what events during the remaining schedule do you see as potential partners or relevant pools to fish in?
– which associations and key players / persons do you partner with so far – do you see relevant for your event?
– which new topics/ aspects will you open?

Just some simple directions, and this is what I got:

Popkomm:
No answers so far, but I got an invitation for a face to face briefing of their brand new and final concept next week. I’ll keep you updated.

Berlin Music Week:
No response at all.

A2N:
answered the very next day and was quite communicative. a2n will host / compose the conference during BerlinMusicWeek. a2n is a project by newthinking communications,

Debuting with a2n in 2009, stepping into the breach just after Popkomm got postponed and organized their event in something like 6 weeks. Credits for this enthusiasm.
Andreas Gebhard, managing director newthinking communications plans 120-150 sessions from Sept. 8. – 10.. A decent share of this sessions will be artist focussed as Gebhard puts it ‘our aim is to discuss and develop state of the art 360° solutions’. In general a2n favors a trend putting the recording industry on debate with artist/consumer demands and new consumption patterns. Details will be available soon, as the discuss with the UK unconvention movement http://uncon2010.blogspot.com/ or will get some input at SxSW http://www.sxsw.com or some local German events. I get a little wary, that they are obviously not very accustomed to the international music conferences. Same with the partners one does need for a conference: They could (or would) not name any relevant associations they team up with – like IAEL, IMPALA, WIN, EMO, idkv, VUT, ifpi, any of this usual suspects that do mingle with Popkomm, Midem, etc. . But maybe this is a good sign that they are after something really new?
The setup still is little unclear to me, as a2n could not specify yet, if they will focus on workshops/ knowledge transfer, presentations or panels.
a2n is acquiring sponsors and partners and some funding will be from the City of Berlin.
For any questions, please refer to the newthinking staff.

I hope I’ll receive some more info and will keep you posted asap.

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