After disappearing from the international music industry calendar in 2009, Popkomm returned to Berlin this month and organizers are encouraged by the attendance figures.

Popkomm was staged Sept. 8-10 in the now decommissioned airport Berlin Tempelhof. It featured a trade fair, conference (organized by all2gethernow) and music festival.

Organizers said the event had 7,500 visitors to the B2B area over two days (Sept. 8-9). It has not released final figures for Sept. 10, when the trade event was open to the public, but was expecting 10,000 people.

There were 470 exhibitors from 20 countries and 60% of exhibitors were from outside Germany. This year Popkomm was incorporated into Berlin Music Week, a new music event that ran Sept. 6-12.

It is hard to make a direct comparison with the previous attendance, as the event has been altered considerably. But the confirmation of a 2011 event suggests it is back on track. The 22nd Popkomm will take place from Sept. 7-9, 2011 in Berlin.

In 2008, the total attendance fell 20% to 14,000. The 2009 event was canceled when it appeared to be facing a 50% drop in attendance.

Jazzkomm, a showcase and business platform for musicians and jazz entrepreneurs, was launched this year. It hosted 50 showcases for 40 bands from 15 countries, alongside its own conference.

At the Popkomm Showcase Festival on Sept. 8 and 9, 60 acts performed in front of audiences at 14 venues on the grounds of Tempelhof Airport as well as in the neighboring district of Kreuzberg. Acts performing included Cast of Cheers, De Staat, Jesse, Rich Aucoin, Spleen United, the Megaphonic Thrift, Therese Aune and Yes Cadet.

"We had to bring back music to Popkomm," Daniel Barkowski, director of Popkomm, tells during the event. "It's like at a car show, when you go into the fair you want to see cars. This time, the first thing you see when you arrive is people outside playing music, then you come into the hall and there's a bigger stage with something happening. At every step, you're surrounded by music."

Speaking before the figures were announced, he comments: "We had more exhibitors than we expected. We sold out of exhibitor space so we have to think about where we can grow next year - there was less [exhibitor] space available than in the old venue, so we had not so many exhibitors as 2008, but the quality is better and business talks are at a much better level."

He adds that 2010's event being part of Berlin Music Week had strengthened its appeal to the German business, while retaining its traditional international exhibitors.

"Popkomm was always strong in the international industry but had some problems with the German industry," he says. "If we just have international, they are looking for the Germans. So it was very important to be part of Berlin Music Week because everyone is involved under one umbrella. Next year it will be even clearer that Berlin is the place for music."

Borkowski was also bullish about the future of Popkomm.

"I've been in the trade fair business for 10 years and normally, if you cancel a trade fair, it will never come back," he says. "But I think Popkomm isn't only coming back, it could get bigger and better. [With the cancellation], we had the chance to change everything - we moved to Templehof, we became part of BMW [Berlin Music Week], we have a public day, we have an entrance hall where anyone can come.

"If we didn't cancel, we would maybe have changed the content slightly but this way we can restructure and build strong foundations. The music biz changes every day, never mind every year, and we had to change as well. Now we want to change with the music business every year, not just say: 'This is Popkomm, take it or leave it.'"