Last week, CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association) held its first business mission in New York City, entitled Meeting Manhattan. Some prominent Canadian music biz types signed up as delegates, and had an intensive three days (Jan. 19-21) of meetings, roundtable discussions, and an industry mixer.
To get a feel for the mission, we contacted its chief organizer, Trisha Carter, CIMA’s Music Export Manager and project manager on this Mission. She attended, along with CIMA President Stuart Johnston, and explained the background to the Mission, noting that “I’ve been to New York a few times in the last couple of years trying to develop a good export opportunity for our members. I worked closely with an in-market team that we hired for the Mission. Meeting Manhattan was a pilot customized trade mission for CIMA, so it was important for CIMA to be onsite. This mission’s about developing our participants’ contacts in the area, but it also helps to build up CIMA’s database of contacts and knowledge as well.”
Carter notes that “CIMA’s customized trade missions are different from when we partner with a festival in-market, like SXSW for example, but each mission format that we offer delivers its own level of outcomes and successes. On a personalized mission like this, you have a chance to really delve into the individual needs of each participant, which reflects the preliminary feedback we’ve already received from our participants.”
Each delegate was profiled, and the NYC-based consultant organized private one-on-one meetings for each of them with key US industry players and experts. According to Carter, “we kept our delegates very busy on this mission and from their various reactions throughout the week we feel this one will be a success. We do actually survey all participants in our missions after so obviously I will have more concrete results after that. I fully anticipate that we’ll be seeing positive outcomes. We heard from the delegates that the mission was extremely valuable to advancing their careers and contacts in New York City and that it was a very informative, productive mission with a fully maximized schedule.”
She declares herself pleased with the mix of delegates attending. “They were a very focused and diverse group, from individual managers to large labels and publishing companies. They come from various backgrounds and levels of experience, so it was great to see that kind of interest in a Mission like this. In fact we had representation from right across Canada. We used an application process for Meeting Manhattan (as we do for all our missions), and this helps us to get a good group of delegates in-market. Whether it involves showcasing or not, we want companies who are export-ready to be able and ready to conduct business in these missions.”
Asked to single out a highlight of Meeting Manhattan, Carter stated that “I was really impressed with how supportive and receptive our US industry contacts were throughout the mission. Another big surprise was the level of customization that each of the big tech companies undertook for our tours at companies like YouTube (Google), Spotify, Shazam, SoundCloud etc. We let them know who was coming and they tailored their presentations to our delegation. There was a huge amount of information for our delegation and plenty of insight into best practices in terms of their artists’ careers. It was very impressive.”
Pictured above, in no particular order: Colin McTaggart (Amelia Artists), Stephen Franke (Blue Heron Music), Nav Bhinder (Bombay Records), Gourmet Delice (Bonsound), David Cox (CLK Creative Works), Matt Smallwood (Cordova Bay Records), Katrina Lopes (Firebox Management), Ian McKinnon (GroundSwell Music), Nigel Jenkins (GroundSwell Music), Tim Jones (Pipe & Hat Inc.), Elise Roller (Pipe & Hat Inc.), Mike Dawson (SaskMusic), Erikson Herman (The Truth Music Group), Mark Watson (Watson Entertainment).