After a fantastic year working as Projects and Operations Manager at the Scottish Music Industry Association, I’ve decided it’s time to move on to pastures new and to tackle a new challenge. I’ll soon be moving to London and starting at PPL as their new Events and Marketing Executive, working across all events that PPL support throughout the UK.
Whilst I’m looking forward to this exciting new chapter, I will whole-heartedly miss the SMIA, and I feel very fortunate to have worked for such a positive, progressive and collaborative organisation. I’m incredibly proud of what has been achieved since I started in my current role in July 2016, and I have enjoyed working alongside my colleagues on the board to see the SMIA have it’s most active year to date.
In the last year we have worked hard to increase the value, impact and benefits of the SMIA. Through new types of events, such as workshops and creative conversations, we have managed to bring music practitioners in Scotland closer together and better meet the skills gaps and development needs of our ever-evolving music industry. We launched two new research projects, as well as co-delivered Capital XTRA’s Music Potential project in Glasgow, providing music industry training for over 120 young people not in employment, education or training. We supported key grass-roots industry events, including Xpo North, Wide Days and the inaugural Resonate music conference in Glasgow, due to take place this November. We launched a new website, featuring a new members area which hosts a wide range of useful resources, industry benefits and discounts. We joined various government and public agency consultations, provided outreach at many higher education institutes and industry events, and launched a pilot programme of briefing and debriefing events for international showcases, starting with this year’s SXSW. We also delivered the sixth Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award campaign, our biggest and most successful to date. This culminated in a ceremony that took place in Paisley Town Hall on Wednesday 28 June, where Sacred Paws won the coveted title and the £20,000 grand prize with their fantastic debut album ‘Strike A Match’.
It’s been a very busy year with some great successes, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each of you, our members, for your continued support and belief that Scotland’s music industry will be strengthened through collaboration and a unified voice. In my time in post I’ve realised just how valuable a trade association like the SMIA can be, especially for an industry that’s currently facing challenges from all sides. Whilst a unified voice remains one of the SMIA’s greatest challenges, for an organisation operating with very limited resources, we have come a long way in uniting previously disparate sectors of our industry and encouraging conversations around how better we can support each other.
I’d like to thank my colleagues on the board for their input, guidance and support. Each has dedicated time in-kind to see the SMIA drive forward, and it’s been great working with you all. I’d like to especially thank our Chair, Dougal Perman, who has been a great mentor to me and whose strategic vision for the SMIA has began to see our organisation reimagined and breaking new ground. I’m without doubt that successes of the last year will be built upon further over the coming months, and that the SMIA will continue to go from strength to strength.
To all of you I have met during my time at the SMIA, thank you for a fantastic year and please keep in touch. It really has been a pleasure being part of something so positive and special, and I wish the SMIA and all involved every success for the future.
Many thanks and all the best, Robert Kilpatrick