While there are many contributing factors regarding why you would want to attend or participate in an International Showcase event, these are some key question we believe should be asked before you commit to investing in any overseas market activity.
- Do you know WHY you are choosing to export at this time?
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- Do you already have interest in that territory?
- Is a showcasing event the best way to present your artist?
- Have you picked the most appropriate showcasing/conference event and can you articulate why?
- Do you have a strategy beyond the chosen market event; what other events and activities form part of your export strategy?
As the old saying goes, “You get out of it what you put in…”
This is definitely the case when participating in an Export Market Event whether you are a showcasing artist or industry.
While most events are currently running virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions meaning the financial investment in travel, visas and other associated costs are currently not in play, the fundamentals remain the same when preparing for any Export Market Event.
RESEARCH – Spend time researching the event you are interested in. Ask other delegates and artists who have attended them previously for any tips or reasons for choosing a certain market.
Whenever possible, GO BEFORE YOU SHOW. Send a manager, or a representative of a group/artist, to an event the year before you plan to showcase. Get a head start on understanding how an event operates, keeping in mind that no two showcasing events are the same.
Research and be thoroughly informed on those key people you are wanting to or planning on meeting with.
Get a hold of and thoroughly examine an old conference/showcase program and familiarise yourself with the event. Get an understanding of how each day will run, where the venues are, when are the networking sessions etc. Especially good to get a tangible feel for the enormity and intensity of some events.
Spend time researching travel options in advance. You can save a decent amount of money pre-purchasing.
Do your research on required working/entertainment/cultural VISAS (see below).
SEEK ADVICE – Seek advice from other artists, industry and government personal involved with export activities. Not only about the various international export music markets, but also information about what State and Federal export funding grants might be available.
USE LOCAL BEFORE GOING GLOBAL – Effective networking is a learnt skill. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and practice. There are multiple domestic events that you can use to hone your abilities and we would highly recommend participating in some of these events before investing in International activity if you can.
GET YOUR PITCH READY – Develop a pitch, however you should be prepared to tailor it to different people and for different occasions. It’s not something that’s a one size fits all and will create more of an impact if it’s of relevance. For instance, if you are referencing artists, you might need to amend these depending on where the person you are talking with comes from. Make the examples meaningful to them and especially with respect to their territory.
MAKE USE OF ONLINE – More than ever you should be using the websites, conference portals and social networking offerings from the events to set up meetings in advance, promote your activity or just find out who is heading along.
ONLINE AUDIT – Before attending any event whether it’s online or in person we recommend that you make sure your online presence is up to date and easily available. This also goes for filling out your profiles on any of the virtual event platforms.
Are all your contacts up to date across all platforms? Including management, agent, label, publisher, and press contacts?
An easy way to connect all of your socials together is by using LinkTree.
Is your bio and press shots current across all your socials and website and is there a downloadable version available for any press?
BUDGET – Cost the entire initiative out first with funding assistance and without. (Don’t forget to budget in the correct currency). If you can’t do the trip without grants or funding assistance then is now the right time to go?
Take out all necessary insurances for both people and gear.
Photo: Peking Duk, India 2013 – Pic by Johnny Au.