2004-05-10

14th IAMA conference in Genoa: networking is still king

The 14th International Conference of the International Artist Managers Association was held from 15 to 17 April in Genoa. Since this event took place in Italy for the first time ever, the conference has been given as main topic The Mediterranean Perspective in Arts management, focusing on arts managers contributions from Greece, Lebanon, and Sicily. In addition, IAMA management offered breakout sessions on Opera dissemination, Corporate Social Responsibility and Audience development. Italian flair succeeds: most of the about 400 delegates used these days on the rainy Mediterranean coast not only for chatting about Arts management but even more for talking business.
The clear benefit of IAMAs conference is that you can easily meet most industry insiders in person at a single venue. For many members, this might have been the major reason to attend, given the conferences enormous participation fee. All above mentioned workshops neither raised major interest among the delegates nor did they offer those attending any significantly new insights into the arts management business. Given the large number of speeches and interviews, time frame was not sufficient to get into much detail and hence they had to remain on the surface.

Not to speak about professionalism, the conference organisation was even trying hard to cope with basic requirements. Delegates complained about badly organised coffee breaks and lunch times, Luncheons and dinners being sponsored revealed poor quality, and most of the delegates had to dine on the go since chairs were hard to find around the buffet. Not easy to explain registrations fees of up to EUR 534 for the conference since the venue was sponsored by the City of Genoa authorities as well.
Nonetheless, business flourished for the participating arts agencies and promoters who knew to seize the opportunity in numerous one-to-one meetings, negotiations, and networking talks.

An article by Marcus Axt, Correspondent, Bonn (Germany)
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