by Manojna Yeluri
The beautiful Reunion Island played host to another edition of IOMMA or the Indian Ocean Music Market – an international trade event and conference meant for music industry professionals from countries in the Indian Ocean region. In its seventh edition, this year’s IOMMA brought together 200 delegates and 28 performances, facilitating the exchange of ideas between creative professionals working in Asia, Africa, Australia, America and Europe.
If ever there was a doubt about attending IOMMA, we give you five reasons that are sure to help you make up your mind:
- Curated Conferences, screenings and showcases
IOMMA creates several opportunities for learning, information exchange and communication by way of its industry conference panels, well designed workshops and a curated selection of films. With a schedule that was constructed with comfort in mind, IOMMA 2018 offered all its participants a seamless flow of experiences that educated and entertained. It’s important to acknowledge the regional focus underlying the conference and showcase curation – conferences and trade events often run the risk of becoming too much of a mixed bag, providing attendees with a broad perspective that touches on relevant issues and actors, but often failing to break the surface of any genre in a meaningful manner. IOMMA remedies that, by using their platform to carefully steer discussions back to the music of the Indian Ocean region, which makes for very focussed and insightful inferences.
- A dip into the local culture
IOMMA also made sure that its attendees had every opportunity to interact with the local culture by incorporating tours, and multiple venues into their schedule. The last day of IOMMA was marked by showcases that took place at either ends of one of Saint Pierre’s streets, rue Babet, giving us and everyone in the city, a chance to experience the musical culture of the Indian ocean region.
- Networking, opportunities and relationships
A trade event like IOMMA offers multiple ways to create connections with like minded professionals from the region. With delegates coming in from Mauritius, Madagascar, China, Nairobi, Australia, France, South Africa, and India (have a look at the delegate list), it’s easy to find yourself being a part of conversations relating to international touring, collection societies, production and logistics, artist mobility and more.
- A comfortable space for collaborative discussion
Like with any other conference or event, a great deal of what you make of IOMMA depends on you, although the team does take great care to make you feel comfortable, and introduce you to people with similar professional affiliations. With that much diversity in the room, language barriers do exist, but again can be overcome with a little bit of effort. Workshops and conference panels have translators working in real time, to make sure that you can understand the discussion while it’s taking place.
- The setting – Reunion Island and Sakifo
Reunion Island is nothing short of a paradise island. With its multicultural landscape, the island country provides the perfect backdrop for cultural exploration and creative discovery. If the people, the abundance of natural beauty, and cultural diversity isn’t inviting enough, here’s another big reason to attend IOMMA – the Sakifo Music Festival. With its amazing line up, Sakifo attracts the attention of music lovers from around the world. The festival takes place almost immediately after the completion of IOMMA, and is a great way to continue the beautiful experience of the region’s culture and creative spirit.
Whether it’s through the sessions, one-on-one meetings, or more casual conversations, IOMMA offers professionals a unique and relaxed experience of the culture of the Indian Ocean region.
IOMMA 2018 was an enchanting experience, courtesy the performers, delegates and the enterprising organising team. If you would like to learn more about the event, you can look up their website or follow their various social media accounts. Until the next one, here’s to efforts like IOMMA that are invested in creating stronger ties within the creative community.