A significant jump in attendance from American companies helped push the overall turnout at the Midem 2006 trade fair close to the 10,000 benchmark, organizer Reed Midem said today (Jan. 25).

A significant jump in attendance from American companies helped push the overall turnout at the Midem 2006 trade fair close to the 10,000 benchmark, organizer Reed Midem said today (Jan. 25).

The 40th annual confab had gathered 9,766 delegates as of Jan. 24, indicating a 6% rise from the corresponding period of the previous edition. Current figures for the convention do not yet account for potential registrations on today's closing day. Last year's Midem reported 82 registrations on its concluding day.

"It's been a really good edition," Midem director Dominique Leguern tells Billboard.biz. "This year has represented a transition from the morosity we have in the past."

In the attendance statistics to-date, the United Kingdom gathered the greatest delegation of companies with 804, down 2% from last year. The United States accounted for 606 companies, up 18% from last year. France was represented by 562 companies, up slightly from 2005.

The total number of exhibiting companies at Midem 2006 rose 8% to 2,313, while the number of market stands decreased slightly to 311.

Presenting the figures at a press briefing this morning in Cannes, Leguern noted that the American presence was boosted by the involvement of indie labels' trade body A2IM for the first time. A2IM were involved with almost 100 attending companies, Leguern said.

Legeurn also highlighted the success of MidemNet, the specialist digital music convention which has become the curtain-raiser to Midem. Having expanded this year into a two-day program from Jan. 21, MidemNet was oversubscribed with 1,200 accredited attendees, she said. Looking forward, organizers will work on developing a new model for MidemNet, she adds.

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