Since the first edition in 1991, the AIMAC biennial conference has always provided a unique forum for reflecting on and defining the management of arts and culture today. AIMAC is the oldest and largest association dedicated to the management of arts and culture and the first to have recognized the importance of professionalizing management in the expanding domain of culture. It was also a pioneer in demonstrating how other sectors could benefit from studying this iconic management laboratory that is culture: whether marketing, human resources, strategy and business models, or organizing the creative process.
Over and above this position, the success and interest of the AIMAC conferences depends on several other important features.
Firstly, they have a real international dimension, providing opportunities to share experiences and lessons from every country and continent, yet where no tradition, linguistic area or geographical area is predominant. Dozens of countries are represented at each conference and the choice of host countries always ensures a variety of venues (Aix-Marseille in 2015 after Bogota in 2013 for example).
Conferences also endeavor to welcome approaches from all artistic and cultural sectors. They feed on the experience of all the worlds of culture (performing arts, heritage and audiovisual) and discuss the latest questions emerging in these areas (clusters and territories, new technologies and internet...). They focus on cultural industries but also consider creative industries that feed on art and culture, such as design and gastronomy, for example.
Research results presented at AIMAC cannot be reduced to straightforward analysis. They naturally focus on management but always in dialogue with economic, political and other sciences. The main concern when selecting contributions is always to look for quality and relevance. Quality is assured by a rigorous academic assessment process; the best articles are also regularly published in one of the best journals in the field, the International Journal of Arts Management. In addition to this concern for quality, relevance is also essential. The theories discussed are put before professionals and practitioners who have been part of AIMAC since its inception and are a significant presence at the conferences.
This desire for exchanges is omnipresent. It is found at all levels in the conferences. The program alternates between presentations and discussions "in context" with the professionals of the host cities. Participants include practitioners, researchers and young academics, making AIMAC a social network before the term was even coined.