Atlanta, get ready! In just three short weeks, the International Music Conference will return to the Capital of the South for four more days of showcases, panel discussions, and invaluable networking. The special gathering is becoming established as the main music event for industry collaborations, making musical connections, and showcasing opportunities throughout the international music market. “I [also] wanted to establish Atlanta on the world music map,” says Julia Huie-Martin, the conference’s British founder. Rolling out arranged an exclusive interview with Huie-Martin to get her thoughts and advice on how to prepare and what to expect. I also asked Huie-Martin who’d be in attendance for this year’s conference and the guest list reads like a who’s who of the Top 40 chart.
What is the International Music Conference?
The IMC is a one-of-a-kind event that specifically educates individuals on how to tap into the music scene in foreign markets. It also strives to give attendees valuable insight into exploring other opportunities in the music business overseas and working with talent from across the globe.
What inspired you to put together the IMC?
As a publicist who is originally from the UK, I’m approached regularly from clients asking me about representation in Europe. They are intrigued by it. It sounds glamorous to them, however when I sit down with these people to really get an idea about their true wants and needs, they don’t really know anything about the music market outside of their backyard. That’s where the birth of IMC came from. I wanted to put together a music conference that made it easier for music professionals to connect on an international scale and do business; I wanted to give aspiring talent opportunities that they would never get anywhere else.
What types of topics are discussed at the conference?
We have created panel discussions such as Breaking Into International Markets, which sets the tone for the entire conference. We’ve also introduced a Hit Songwriters panel as well as a Secrets of Game Audio panel discussion. Our most popular discussions are the song feedback sessions. It gives opportunities for artists to get their music heard and critiqued by some of the industry’s best.
Atlanta was important because I like the music scene here. If you look at other major music cities, a lot of them already have some type of well-known conference or festival. I think that was missing in Atlanta. I also wanted to establish Atlanta on the world music map. There is amazing talent here and a sizeable conference could offer a great economic boost to the city.
What’s unique about the IMC?
It’s very niche in regards to specifically tapping into foreign market. The structure is also unique. The balance of showcases, panels, and exhibitors makes it very attracting to attendees. Registrants also get a good sense of connecting with people they may not normally have access to.
Why should someone who wants to pursue music professionally attend the IMC?
It’s important that those individuals know who’s who and who can put them on. The special guests are some of the industry’s most notable tastemakers. We put aspiring talent in a room with people who know the music business, old and new, domestic and abroad.
How long has the IMC been around?
The inaugural year was in 2011. It’s new and fresh. We are high off a promo launch in the U.K. recently.
How is everything coming together this year?
It’s coming together very well. Our sponsors, Gentleman Jack & New Era have been very supportive. I’m excited to offer our partners such a great platform to connect with an engaged music audience. Our Interactive Network Lounge is the perfect place for this. I want the experience for them to be just as exciting as our attendees.
What’s the most exciting part of conference?
The showcases are the most exciting, as they are such a huge draw. Attendees really enjoy the energy here. It’s also exciting for the attendees to leave with a lot more information than they came in knowing. Also, we’ll have some interactive exhibits from partners like the Microsoft Store, BeatKangz Electronics and New Era featuring some of the latest merchandise they have in store.
Describe the atmosphere of the conference.
Due to the IMC being in its infancy, we have a bit more control over the flow of events. Overall, the conference is energetic but still has a sense of intimacy. The attendees won’t feel overwhelmed or lost. Its extremely personable, highly educational and a lot of fun!
Let’s say I’m an aspiring professional musician, what should I do to prepare so I get the most out of attending?
It’s important for attendees looking to make contact to have their stuff in order. Business cards, CDs, website, social media, etc. Look presentable, and consolidate any contact information. Be confident and not afraid to approach the panelists.
What plans do you have for next year?
We will definitely be going back to London. We’ll also be doing a promo launch in New York. If the schedule permits, we’ll also have a presence in Africa. And of course we’ll be back for the 3rd annual conference in Atlanta.
Where can participants go register and get more information?
First, check out our new promo video:
Register online via our website:
photo by Dennis Byron
The rates to attend as a guest or submit your music for consideration are the same.