On Wednesday 17 October we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room in London.
This year the theme of the AGM was ‘Representation, Diversity and Inclusion’, which was reflected by the discussions and programme of events that took place throughout the day, with a focus on people and the role they play in independent music businesses.
The Annual Report, during which AIM CEO Paul Pacifico reflected on the achievements of the year, and introduced a number of new initiatives to help bring value and knowledge to the independent sector.
Following the streaming boost of recent years, Pacifico announced that AIM would be placing a greater focus on helping its members to obtain commercial opportunities, saying: “With the growth of streaming revenues, there is now a climate of cautious optimism surrounding the music sector. As the transition to a market of opportunity takes place, AIM is shifting too, with an increasing focus on providing our members with a broad range of commercial opportunities.”
AIM took the opportunity to announce its new flagship event, ‘AIM Connected’. The three-day conference will combine the organisation’s Indie-Con, Music Connected and Women in Music events to create a single, stronger platform for AIM members to learn, network and do business. AIM Connected will also bring international partners together with the UK independent community to explore all aspects of music, tech and the role of people in the 21st Century landscape – a theme which ran through all the activities of the AGM.
AIM has also become a lead partner in the upcoming BBC Introducing Live event, which will take place in November. This year, the trade body will host a range of panels and talks, as well as taking part in the Feedback Centre where the independent community will have the chance to engage with the next generation of industry talent.
Plans for regional expansion were also announced, with new AIM hubs launching in Leeds and Glasgow within the next six weeks, and plans in place to launch more in Northern Ireland, Wales and other locations in 2019.
In keeping with this year’s theme, the keynote address was given by Rachel Stein, Executive Director of Campaigns and Strategy for leading LGBT equality charity Stonewall, in which she said: “It’s not enough for an organization to say they are inclusive; it is vital to take active and visible steps to create the kind of environment that allows all staff to be free to be themselves. That’s what AIM has done today – by working with Stonewall as part of the Diversity Champions programme, by structuring this day around representation and inclusion – you have made a visible commitment to your employees and your members.”
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico chaired the panel ‘Diversity Works: Creating Lasting Change’, in which he discussed the importance of a representative and diverse workforce alongside diversity champions Amy Lamé (London Night Czar), Keith Harris (Diversity Taskforce Chair) and Nadia Khan (Women in CTRL).
As part of the formal business of the AGM four new AIM board members were appointed. The newly elected Board members are:
- Chris Goss – Hospital Records
- Eva Greene – Black Acre Records
- Peter Quicke – Ninja Tune
- Siofra McComb – !K7 Music
They replace the following retiring Board members:
- Nathan Barley Phillips – TuneCore UK
- Paul Sanders – State 51
- Stephen Richards – Lucky Number
- Sarah Bolshi – Sunday Best Records
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM continued: “A business is only as strong as its people. If there is one clear message to take from this year’s AGM, it is the importance of a diverse workforce, which is not only a force of social change, but a means to improve your business. It is a key issue in the DNA of AIM, which will run through all of our new-look events, driven forwards through our newly-formed partnership with Stonewall.”