MAKE THE MOST OF WOMEX
To help ensure that your stay in Katowice is as smooth as possible, we've put together a handy list that takes the legwork out of trip planning, gives some additional tips for your preparation and allows you to get straight down to business as soon as you arrive.
We will update this list regularly to include tips on how to prepare, how to meet people and how to follow up.
YOUR WOMEX CHECKLIST
Mark Your Calendar!
Here are some important dates to mark in your calendar to make sure you get the most out of WOMEX! Remember you can sign up to our newsletter to be reminded at each of these points.
- Call for Proposals – Late January 2017 - 17 March 2017 – earlier this year!
Be part of the WOMEX programme, propose your showcase, conference or film to be considered by our independent, international jury.
- Register and Book a Stand – open now all the way through the event.
Be a part of WOMEX! Register to become a delegate of WOMEX 17, and book a stand in the Trade Fair to gain maximum exposure. Register now!
- WOMEX 17 – 25 - 29 October 2017
The all-important event! Held in 2017 in Katowice, Poland.
This is an obvious one: if you have not registered before the event, you should! For those who are not able to register prior to WOMEX, walk-up registration is possible on-site throughout the whole event and we will never turn a potential delegate away. But bear in mind, the earlier you register, the lower the price. Registration for WOMEX 17 is now open: you can register online now!
Update Your virtualWOMEX Profile
A few days after you have registered online, we will send you your login data. Update your profile with a picture and a company description (at the very least!), and make sure that your contact data is correct. You can also post artists and records as well as your news or events. It's easy! Delegates who have not registered yet but want to do so on-site can access the virtualWOMEX database, but without the business contacts listed.
virtualWOMEX database and year-round platform
Organise Your Travel and Accomodation
Nearer to the event, we will offer accomodation recommendations from our local partners, as well as travel tips for getting to Katowice and other useful local information. You can also sign up to our newsletter to get the information straight to your inbox.
What to Bring
Here are a few things that an effective WOMEXican can't do without:
- business cards – virtualWOMEX is a great resource, but it’s good to have a physical souvenir;
- comfortable shoes – convention centers have hard floors and there is lots of walking;
- a water bottle – you may not have time to track it down and you’ll be talking a lot;
- presentation materials – see appropriate section below for more suggestions;
- a schedule for meetings, panels, showcases, and meals;
- a map from your accommodation to the conference location
- I.D. – WOMEX needs a photo I.D. to get you checked in;
Before You Go – Preparing Your WOMEX
Here's a great guide for how to prepare for your business at WOMEX and how to make the most of your time while you're there, courtesy of the veteran WOMEXican Dmitri Vietze:.
- Schedule meetings. The biggest mistakes less experienced conference-goers make is not having some meetings scheduled in advance. There are plenty of panels to attend and >trade fair stands to visit, but if at all possible try to schedule meetings related to the business you hope to conduct in advance. The more in-demand people may not have time to meet on the spot. Use virtualWOMEX to identify and contact possible business contacts. Try the Advanced Search if you are not sure who to contact; you can still filter by country, company type, and role. Scan panel presenters for contacts of interest as well. If you are not succeeding at scheduling meetings, schedule yourself for Mentoring sessions offered by WOMEX, and put the most valuable-looking panels on your schedule. Schedule more of your meetings earlier during the conference so that you are available to schedule impromptu meetings later during WOMEX.
- Prepare materials. A lot can be done with a meeting. But you may not have enough time to explain or demonstrate everything you need to. Information about what you might bring:
- Recordings. A few years ago everyone brought CDs. Popular label or festival directors literally filled entire suitcases with CDs. Only the most organised person was able to process and audition that many recordings before their next conference. Nowadays, people still bring full CDs, but others bring download cards, flash drives, or flat CD sleeves. It is good to have something physical to hand out, something to be remembered by. But your goals should dictate what format. If you have a large roster and a few targets, flash drives make a lot of sense. If you represent a single artist, you might consider a combination of CDs for DJs and journalists, postcards with web links for festivals, and nicer special packages for key targets. Having a variety of formats of audio means you can give the recipient exactly what they prefer. Preferences vary quite a bit from person to person. Someone hearing your music for the first time may not want a ten CD catalogue plus three DVDs in long boxes in their first meeting with you. Sampler discs can be useful for that first meeting. But when you meet that right person who is already a fan and can make a difference in your career, having a full CD on hand can make or break an offer.
- Postcards. Think about who your target is and prepare postcard information for that audience. If you are an artist looking for festival bookings, include compelling information about the live touring act as well as career highlights. Also include what territories you are hoping to tour and when you are available (month and year). Avoid hype and clichés. Include musical styles, country of origin, key web links, and contact info. If you are an agent with a larger roster, include shorter blurbs. Compelling photos will always catch people’s eyes.
- Stickers and badges. These are a great inexpensive gifts you can hand out to people you meet.
- Gifts. It is not uncommon for people to bring small gifts to give to people they meet along the way. Candy, local beverages, and handicrafts are common. But you may consider something even more valuable as a thank you for someone who has helped you in the past.
Some good things to know
- There will be Wi-Fi free of charge at the WOMEX daytime venue. A number of public Internet terminals are also available for delegates to use.
- No music in the Trade Fair unless played back on headphones.
- If you need to smoke, please head for the closest outside area.
Check the WOMEX Hours and Location
Make sure you know where you want to go, and when you want to go there! Detailed information regarding the location and timings of WOMEX 17 in Katowice, Poland, will be available nearer to the event.
Collect Your Badge and Delegate Bag
The WOMEX Registration will be situated in the WOMEX daytime venue.
Delegates – including those who have paid the Media Rate! – should go to the following counters to get their WOMEX Badges:
Already fully paid
Bring your WOMEX confirmation and your ID card and collect your badge at the Pre-Paid Registration Counter.
Not yet registered, not paid or partially paid
Go to the Walk-Up Registration Counter.
Pre-Accredited local media
Come and visit us at the Media Counter in the registration area to pick up your badges.
Check the Conference and Showcase Programme
The full WOMEX schedule – including both daytime and nighttime programmes – will be published in the months before the event. You can see the schedule for WOMEX 16 here.
Apply for a Free Mentoring Slot
WOMEX 17 will once again feature Mentoring sessions with experts from various fields within the industry, which will take place in both One-to-One and Roundtable formats. Ask all your burning questions, exchange ideas with your peers about innovative ways to present the arts, and get practical tips on effective strategy. Mentoring slots are always popular and fill up fast, so you will need to book your place as soon as possible. We will announce the mentors and registration nearer to the event.
Increase Your Visibility
Looking for a way to maximise your impact on the WOMEX delegates and beyond? We have plenty of ways for you to promote yourself with WOMEX, from placing adverts in our Guide, Pocket Guide or website, to placing an insert in the WOMEX bag (given to all participants!), to having your company on our own materials such as the bag, lanyard or wristband.
See here for more information and a booking form.
Schedule Your Meetings
In order to make the most of your time at WOMEX, we recommend setting up appointments beforehand to ensure you do not miss out on meeting with those that are most important to your work. Remember: be succinct and be mindful that some people's schedules might not be so flexible as your own.
Use an app, your mobile phone calendar, a diary, a date book, a notebook…but start thinking about with whom you want to meet.
You can delegates by alphabet in our online networking platform virtualWOMEX. This lists every delegate and company and you will also be able to search for those who have registered (and paid) for WOMEX 17 when registration goes live. Whom do you want to meet? Whom do you need to see? Find contact data of every delegate at virtualWOMEX and arrange your meetings.
Tips on How to Meet People
More advice from the esteemed Dmitri Vietze, helpful especially for first-timers, and also for old-hands looking for a refresher!
- Write down 2-4 goals. The more clear you are about what you specifically want out of WOMEX, the more likely you will accomplish it. If you write it down, you will realise just how specific you need to be. Goals could include: Meet and get contact information for 20 festival directors. Meet 10 record label decision-makers and hand them my demo. Put faces with names with the 20 people I already know in the world music industry. Dance with 10 attractive people. Discover five performers I want to book this year at my festival. Write them down! Now!
- Have a sound bite. Make sure you can give an overview of what you do in a minute or less. Then if someone is interested to learn more, you can talk more. But there will be a lot of: "What do you do?" in passing. Be prepared to answer it simply and clearly, or in a way that will pique more questions or interest. Be prepared to be able to describe the music in a way that quickly gives the listener a sense of what you are talking about. A simple way to do this is to say: "It’s like ______, but with _________."
- Talk to people. You spent all this money and time to get to WOMEX; you will get more out of it if you meet more new people and the only way to do this is to talk. This means talking to complete strangers. Everywhere. Grab their badge and say with a smile: Oh, where are you from? Figure out how you can help them. Ask them what they are trying to get out of WOMEX so that you can keep an ear out for them. Offer to help someone carry something heavy. Buy someone a coffee. Just as importantly, take the conversation deep, fast. Try to understand what someone does and what makes them tick and offer an ear and a hand.
- Be respectful. There are a few people at WOMEX who are always for sale. You see them coming with their hand extended and everyone turns the other way. Why? Because they are always selling all the time. Every conversation leads to what YOU can do for THEM. People at larger festivals or record labels or media outlets get hit up that many more times, so be respectful of their time and interest or you will lose their time and interest. Make it short and sweet and if they are not interested, move on. Being forceful or louder or more aggressive will not change their mind. Hook them with something personal or compelling and the story changes. Beware that many people have back-to-back meetings throughout WOMEX. With those people, you can ask if they have time later or if you can hand them something and follow up afterwards. Anything more, and you will get an unequivocal rejection.
- A little of everything. You may need a taste of all the WOMEX offerings before you figure out what works for you best. Plan on attending a couple of panels, going to lots of showcases, and perusing the trade hall. If you have a lot of trouble meeting new people, attend more relevant panels where you can put faces with names. Introduce yourself to panelists after it is over. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. If you have something relevant to the panel discussion, raise your hand early in the Question & Answer portion, introduce your name and organisation, and say your comment or question. Make it compelling and people will be attracted to you. Sign up for Mentoring in advance, as those slots go fast.
Tips for Artists
Chances are that you have decided to attend WOMEX a little bit for fun, a little bit to check the pulse of the scene, and mostly to move your career forward. The types of opportunities artists may find at WOMEX include getting a booking agent or manager, getting a deal with a record label, getting bookings at theatres or festivals, getting media coverage or radio airplay, connecting with other artists for collaborations, working with a government or other agency, etc. You will find that some music industry professionals do not want to work with an artist directly. In this case, the best strategy is to act as much like a professional as possible. Record labels at WOMEX typically are not looking for new acts. They tend to have in house producers who like to find and produce/record albums for their artists, though some license tracks or full albums from territory to territory. Many festivals and concert promoters have "go to" people in each country of interest such as booking agents, record labels, or managers who they rely on for new programming material. But most will accept music from anyone. It can be very tough to pitch a booking agent at a conference because agents at these events tends to be in "selling" mode, not "buying mode". Most will still be receptive to quickly taking a CD or download card for future consideration. You may have to catch them at a less formal time, such as at showcases so they have enough time to talk.
No matter what you do at WOMEX, it will be worthless if you do not have a plan for follow-up afterwards! Before you go, put a couple of follow up days in your calendar about 1-4 weeks after WOMEX. Or else you have wasted your investment in WOMEX. If you use a smart phone, get an app that lets you scan and archive business cards. (By the way, virtualWOMEX is a great resource. If you lose a card or for whatever reason need to find someone later, you can usually find their contact info in the WOMEX directory.) Plan on creating a spreadsheet with all the contacts and what the next step and due date is. Do this, do this, do this!
Packing up your Trade Fair Stand Material
The Trade Fair will close its doors on Saturday evening at 18:00. Exhibitors will have to pack everything together and clear the venue before midnight. Goods can be left at your stand, to be picked up by your transport company on Saturday until 22:00 or on Sunday between 08:00 and 20:00, at your own risk.
Photo: Shell (the symbol of el Camino and Santiago de Compostela) in stone, courtesy of Santiago Turismo