Q&A with Ben Turner: Superstar DJs and record producers need corporate conferences too

The co-founder of the International Music Summit explains how the event helps music professionals overcome the challenges of working all over the world.

Ben Turner, IMS co-founder
Ben Turner, IMS co-founder

The International Music Summit began in Ibiza in 2007 to inspire debate, discussion and help implement progressive change in electronic music. The conference has since become very well regarded among those who work in electronic music and in 2015, IMS China began, aiming to help electronic music professionals overcome the challenges of working in what was a new and emerging market with its own rules and regulations.

 This year, IMS Asia Pacific in Shanghai brought together 700 dance music industry leaders from 24 countries for two days of panels, discussions, workshops and reports. Ben Turner is one of the co-founders of the summit and he spoke to C&IT about why superstar DJs need to be on top of their taxes just as much as anyone else.

Who comes to IMS Asia Pacific?

It’s a real mixture of agents, promoters, managers, artists and record label owners from inside and outside Asia Pacific. We have two days of educational talks looking at the region, covering topics from how to make sure you can take your money out of China to some strong advice for artists paying taxes in the region, through to some of the issues the market is facing.

What do most delegates want to know about?

We’re really covering every angle, from making sure you’re getting paid to where the emerging markets are, like Taiwan and India. What really came out of the summit is that every country in Asia has its own challenges, its own way of communicating, its own promotion; so there are a lot of nuances to understand to make the market work for you.

How do you organise the IMS?

We organise the IMS Ibiza in-house, as one of our partners is an event producer. In China we partnered with a company called A2 Live who are big promoters in China and run a festival called the Storm Festival, so they’re our local partners. Going into a market like China, we needed some local expertise and these guys run festivals for 30,000 people. They help us deliver the conference and production.

What were some of the highlights of this year’s summit in Shanghai?

This year we had a Dutch artist called Laidback Luke giving a keynote address and interviews with Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso. And we had leaders from some of the big tech companies in China take part too. It was a mixture of keynote speeches, interviews, panels and debates. 

We run production masterclasses too, where some of the DJs give masterclasses in how to mix and produce. It’s really good mixture of high-level industry insight and grass roots level how to produce and get into the business.

We’re pleased with how it’s growing and it will continue to do so over time. It’s a new market and going to China for a conference isn’t for everybody, but it’s developing steadily.

For more features, as well as breaking news, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
5 inspiring sports stadiums for events

5 inspiring sports stadiums for events

International sporting arenas that offer impeccable facilities and special experiences for your delegates.

New event space opens at Southampton Science Park

New event space opens at Southampton Science Park

Venue has capacity for 200 people and is close to major road and rail links, as well as Southampton Airport.

Will outer space become a giant leap for incentives?

Will outer space become a giant leap for incentives?

Astronaut and associate professor of space physics Suzie Imber says the reality of travel beyond our planet is close.

8 activities in... Mauritius

8 activities in... Mauritius

Home to white sands, rum punch, high-octane water sports and natural wonders.

Government offers £250,000 to boost broadband in conference venues

Government offers £250,000 to boost broadband in conference venues

Conference centres across the UK can apply for new funding to improve broadband and attract more international business.

Why influencers are a big part of Las Vegas' MICE strategy

Why influencers are a big part of Las Vegas' MICE strategy

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's new MICE manager discusses influencers and why hotels within hotels are the latest trend.

In pictures: Hilton Garden Inn opens in Lithuania

In pictures: Hilton Garden Inn opens in Lithuania

The Hilton Garden Inn Vilnius City Centre has events facilities and a rooftop terrace and is the brand's first property in the country.

48 hours in Zagreb

48 hours in Zagreb

A two-day incentive itinerary in the capital of Croatia, from Esplanade Zagreb Hotel to a culinary workshop at Dolac Market.

Brand experience trends from around the world

Brand experience trends from around the world

From borderless marketing campaigns to hyper-personalisation, INVNT's leadership team share their insights.

3 ways event planners can find that creative spark

3 ways event planners can find that creative spark

Artist Phil Hansen, MPI keynote at IMEX America, explains how embracing your limitations can inspire new kinds of creativity.

LATEST JOBS