Despite tougher market conditions, the Midem trade show attracted more than 8,800 participants for its 38th edition, which closes today (Jan. 29) in Cannes. This represents a 3% rise over last year's

Despite tougher market conditions, the Midem trade show attracted more than 8,800 participants for its 38th edition, which closes today (Jan. 29) in Cannes. This represents a 3% rise over last year's figure of 8,560, according to the event organizers.

Midem 2004 saw 4,172 companies attending, a 4.2% rise over 2003's figure. Participants came from 94 different countries, two more than last year.

"We did not really expect such good figures," organizer Reed Midem's chief executive Paul Zilk tells Billboard.biz.

Zilk attributes the rise to two main factors: a decision to discount the 2004 rates, and what he describes as "an excellent program of conferences and concerts."

Zilk says the pricing policy "was the right thing to do and was a strong statement from our part to the industry to show our solidarity."

He adds that Reed Midem has received a positive response to its decision to focus on new areas of growth for the industry such as online music, mobile music and synchronization rights for films and video games. "We have been able to attract some of the largest companies in these sectors and we will be working hard to make sure they come back," says Zilk.

Midem director Dominique Leguern says that the five-day trade show was marked by several highlights, including a sold-out MidemNet (the online-music conference held on the eve of Midem), the Danish opening night, the Border Breakers Awards -- held for the first time in Cannes under the aegis of the European Commission -- and the presence of Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno to launch their new MUDDA initiative.

In addition, Leguern points to a greater-than-usual presence of political figures, with no less than 10 ministers from various countries present at Midem this year.

"We are achieving a mix of business and cultural events with glamour," she says. "That's what makes Midem so special."

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