International conferences and convenings with showcases and marketplaces

International conferences and convenings with showcases and marketplaces

This is a partial list of artist-forward and internationally focused business gatherings with excellent, accessible websites. There are many more festivals, conferences and expos, so consider this an introduction to cross-border discovery, professional exchange, partnerships, and networking.

Launched by Music in Africa in 2015, and intended to showcase up and coming African music, this gathering is held each year in a different city on the African continent. , it is self-described as “the leading pan-African platform for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and accelerate the shaping of a vibrant music sector in Africa.”

Atlantic Music Expo
(Cabo Verde, annual, generally April) “A valuable and welcoming music professionals' meeting for Cabo Verde, Africa, and all sides of the Atlantic. AME features day and night showcases (including an urban music stage and DJ sets), conference program, practical workshops, one-to-one meetings and an evening street market.”

Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM)
Mission: connecting contemporary Australian theatre, dance, emerging and experimental art with national and international opportunities. Annual conference with showcases and marketplace hosts a series of gatherings tied to Australian festivals and convenings.

China Shanghai International Arts Festival (China SPAF)
Annual festival, marketplace, and conference focused on exporting work from China abroad but which draws international delegates from leading venues and festivals– especially from Asia.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (conference produced every other even year) CINARS is a non-profit organization “whose mission is to promote and support the export of the performing arts.” It hosts a conference every other even year. Its main objectives are to: Encourage cultural creations emerging from the performing arts sector; Promote commercial discussions between organizations specializing in production and those specializing in show presentation; Make Montreal a worldwide hub of performance art networking.

Medellin, Colombia (Annual, generally November) Circulart produces an important professional platform focused on the music industry in Central and South America, where the representatives of this ecosystem meet annually. The team also consults and partners with other festivals and conferences throughout South America and other countries.

FIMPRO International Music Fair for Professionals
Guadalajara, Mexico (Annual) A large “music industry encounter in Mexico and Latin America. Year after year, FIMPRO develops a series of activities that foster agreements and business between local creators, national and international event programmers.”

Internationale Tanzmesse NRW
Düsseldorf, Germany (every other even year, August) The largest professional gathering dedicated exclusively to contemporary dance featuring fully produced performances, a marketplace and professional sessions and dialogues.

MAPAS The Market for the Performing Arts of the South Atlantic Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (annual, July)
MAPAS is “a meeting for scenic arts –music, theater, dance, circus and street artists– from South Europe (Spain and Portugal), Latin America and Africa and those in charge of programming, cultural spaces, festivals and other events worldwide.”

MASA Market for African Performing Arts
Abidjan, Ivory Coast (Every other even year, generally March) Showcases, conference sessions, and marketplace.  “MASA is a cultural platform for promoting African Performing Arts. Its main objectives are to support creativity and good quality productions, to facilitate the movement of artists and their works within Africa and throughout the world, to train artists and key professionals in the production field, to promote African Performing Arts.

Cannes, France (Annual, generally June) Produces an annual conference that is truly global and fosters a network and ongoing programs linking commercial and non-commercial makers in the global music ecology. “Midem is dedicated to helping the music industry and its partners develop business and creativity by bringing together all the key players of the music ecosystem.”

Mundial Montreal
Montreal, Canada (Annual, generally November) An important week-long global music gathering focused on networking and discovery with showcases, and targeted and curated activities. There is no marketplace. Block booking meetings among Canadian presenters is a big feature. The ‘Building Bridges’ page on the web-site contains a curated list of international conferences (including many not listed in this document).

Rabat, Morocco (annual November) An important professional market /festival of Africa and Middle-East musics that “promotes music from Morocco, Africa and the Middle-East to Europe and northern markets; encourages artistic mobility between African countries and the Middle-East; participates in the development of the local cultural sector in these areas; develops the music scene at an international level; contributes to the improvement of the status of artists from southern countries; and strengthens the North-South and South-South relationships in the cultural sector.”

WOMEX is an international networking platform for the world music industry. WOMEX hosts an annual five-day event held in October, in a different European city, comprises a bustling Trade Fair, Showcase Festival, Conference, and Film program. Web site includes an excellent global directory of artists, venues, festivals, music industry pros, etc. Artists and organizations can join as Virtual Members (fee).