Virtual Conferences for the world’s largest music market Midem was unusually quiet. I remember the organized madness that Midem once shared. The LIVE performers scheduled hourly at selected spots within the exhibition hall, the continuous playing of music at a multitude of visitor stands. The Midem sponsored nightly concerts at multiple hotel ballrooms, parties held by different governments just to showcase their best music and musicians. Gone are the days of leaving one fabulous concert, just to walk next door or down the block to another. I miss the abundance of free music given out to attendees just so they may eventually listen, talk about and ultimately purchase quantities for sale in their respective markets.
The experience of discovery is lacking while digital media is supposed to bring the industry closer. Things aren’t what they used to be. Executives at this year’s Midem conference have come up with a unique usage of today’s technology. VIRTUAL CONFERENCING Oh, you say it’s not a NEW idea, well imagine this scenario. You register for the conference online, paying your registration fee digitally. You then troll the online database of the conference attendees and schedule your appointment for a private online meeting time. At your designated time you connect visually and have a one on one meeting digitally with the person you have chosen. During the meeting you share music or video file that be saved or seen and you get immediate feedback.
What I heard during Midem were facts and figures, “My song has 600,000 YouTube views, My Sound cloud has been downloaded 800,000 times, I now have over a million followers on Twitter. What I didn’t hear was the music itself. Sure a few people had MP3 players, jump drives, iPhone with a cloud file, one meeting I took from the UK even had a portable CD player with ear buds. Yet this was the exception NOT the norm. The numbers game was what ruled this conference. Most companies were interested in having 5,000,000 songs on file where anyone could research for the song they wanted or needed. I’m predicting that there will be a change in how the Business of Music selling works very soon. Most people are lazy yet want instant gratification while the successful industry executive works daily in developing lasting relationships and NOT online hype. The day of the Song Plugger is fast approaching, the need for personalize service for publishers, writers, musicians and labels is mandatory.
Will this happen virtually? Only time will tell…
by Allen Johnston
Allen Johnston – The Music Specialist
Music Conferences today have become big business for the individuals and companies that put them on. Almost every conference created has an educational component, a seminar, panel discussion or technical workshop. Here lays the problem, why pay good money to come to a conference with positive seminars and not attend? Every conference I have attended in the United States this year has had more night time attendees for parties and performances than daytime seminar attendees.
In Europe it is the complete opposite. Conference attendees come for business during the day in droves. Panels are packed and private meetings are scheduled. Let me give you a few ideas on how to become more productive at your next conference.
Rules To Work Conferences
- Research Your Conference – Know who is going to be at the event you will be attending. Read the Schedule in advance and determine who you want to meet and WHY you want to meet them.
- Schedule Meetings – Try and reach companies, executives, publicists and other artists prior to the event and schedule private meeting times to discuss your MUTUAL interests. Email works when used properly for communication, so Please spell correctly.
- Speak Correctly – Leave the urban street based conversations at home. This is a business and professionals will be attending and speaking on the seminars. Lose the phrase “You know what I mean?” and the phrase “You feel me?” Say what you mean upfront and be prepared to explain yourself. The way you speak in the “trap” is not going to get you anywhere in the entertainment BUSINESS environment.
- Take a Shower – Partying the night before is NOT an excuse to have bad breath or body odor. Make the effort to bathe BEFORE you come to the seminar. You never know who you will be standing next to. By the way dousing yourself in perfume or cologne is NOT bathing.
- Be on Time, awake, attentive and prepared – Walking into seminar fashionably late shows disrespect for the other attendees and to the seminar speakers. It also says that maybe a professional does not want to work with you because you didn’t think enough of their time to hear them from the very beginning.
- Take notes – Just like you were back in school. This is how you remember some of the information that will be disseminated. Plus this is how you can keep names and numbers straight, while you write down any questions you may have.
- Have Business Cards Available – name, email, website, phone number, mailing address and a representation of what you do. (logo, business name, etc)
- Receive Business Cards – When you give a card, receive a card. Take the card in both of your hands if possible; read it before you put it away. This business card is the beginning of your entertainment industry database, treat it with esteem.
- Carry a Camera – Take photos of the panelists to help you remember who was who. And take as many photos with other people as you can. Email them back to the person and use this as a starting point for a great business relationship.
- Be Polite and Courteous – You want and need to advance your career, the worst thing you can do is to disrespect and upset a professional. This means NOT telling a DJ off for not playing your music. DJ’s TALK TO EACH OTHER and so do distributors, store buyers, publicists, record exec’s, club owners and almost everyone else that is a professional.
- Follow Up – email, telephone, regular mail and do ALL of these things consistently. It is true that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
- Have An Online Presentation – FaceBook is good for starters however you do need your own website that allows viewers to find out more about you and your talent. You should also create MP3’s of your material for sending and for downloading. If you have a visual talent, create video for web usage.