MIDEM Survival Guide


This  will be the first year in 5 that I will not be attending the MIDEM Conference in Cannes, France.  It takes place every January as it has for over 40 years, and while I am by no means a grizzled veteran (I personally know people that have attended over 30), I do feel that I have good experience and handy tips to share with all of my friends and collegues who will be attending this year.  Alas, I cannot assist you this year with my good cheer and in depth, on-site analysis of the confernce, but I feel as though I should do my part, so here goes:

  • Remember that Cannes is a tourist town, and as such, nothing is as it seems.  Your hotel lobby may be quite nice, but your room is not.
  • Getting an internet connection is either insultingly expensive, impossible, or both.
  • If you rent an apartment, at least one of the following things will happen: the keys won’t work, the hot water will not work, the heat will not work, the toilets will not work, the beds will be 14″ wide.
  • If you are in charge of your company’s booth, well, first of all, good luck.  It definitely won’t look like you thought it would and getting someone to fix it will require all of your Jedi skills, so train well, young Skywalker.
  • Bring lots of these (trust me, they come in handy for all kinds of things): cottonelles1
  • Everyone you meet with will hopefully be as hungover as you are.  If they aren’t don’t trust them.
  • Never, ever, sign anything at MIDEM – – not even your credit card receipts.
  • Forget breath mints — you’ve got bigger problems.
  • Everyone will tell you to drink lots of water.  Don’t listen to them.
  • Sleeping will be difficult and not very restful, so you may want to just forget it completely.
  • Make sure and take copious notes during all meetings in a fresh, spiral bound notebook.  Burn said notebook on the last day of MIDEM.
  • Don’t ever schedule or go to a meeting at Cafe Roma.  Just don’t.
  • Don’t even think about eating oysters.  Oh… you just did – well, you’ll probably get sick now.
  • I’ve heard the pharmacies have codeine Tylanol.  Just something I heard – you may want to take advantage of this if you sprain your ankle or something.
  • People who tell you they are having a great time are lying.  People who tell you they hate MIDEM are also lying.
  • Take at least a couple of hours the first day to find all of the stands with free booze.  Take the next couple of hours retracing your steps.
  • Don’t point and laugh, no matter how hard you want to.
  • N’essayez pas de parler francais… jamais!
  • If you want to play it safe, eat pizza – – if you want to live on the edge, go to the “American Club”.

Well, there is much more, but this is all I can muster for now.  Have fun, be safe, be productive, and enjoy the ride.