English · Tips

Conference Do’s & Don’ts


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

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Have Business Cards Available – name, email, website, phone number, mailing address and a representation of what you do. (logo, business name, etc)
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Follow Up – email, telephone, regular mail and do ALL of these things consistently.  It is true that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
  1. 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.

English · Tips

7 Steps To Having A Great Album/CD Release Party


Article by Allen Johnston

Within the past few weeks I have been invited to several Album / CD Release parties and a recurring theme is happening.  The artists and their management companies are getting it ALL WRONG.

Here are a few rules to make your CD Release party effective and profitable.

Check Your Invitation List

If you are inviting your relatives, friends and fans you are NOT having a CD Release party.  The primary reasoning behind a CD Release event is to get as much press, media, radio, TV and online media writers to review and promote your music.  Anything else is self-defeating and a waste of time, energy and money.

Advance Preparation is critical

Determine the place where you will be having your event, scout the location, setup prior to your event and check sound, lights, seating and acoustics.
Know which area you will be preforming in and where you will greet your guests for one on one autograph and photos.

Choose your team wisely, they will represent you

The team that you have should be able to make your event easy and comfortable for you or your artist.  Have enough qualified people around so that your guests feel pampered and their minds are solely on the music.  VIP guests should be escorted into the event, directly to their table, where they can have the option of seating or mingling with other guests.

Keep solid publicity

Having a person send out an email blast without being able to get you phone interviews, video interviews, print reviews of your project and online blog interviews is NOT having a publicist. Hire a publicist who can develop your guest list and make sure that you have a quality follow up after the event.  A publicist should be able to write the documents, press releases, informational sheets and in some cased the reviews of your cd.  This same person needs the ability to contact and invite music reviewers, bloggers, radio & television executives, announcers, DJ’s, print media, videographers, and photographers.   After the event your publicist becomes extremely important for you want the world to know about your project.  Make sure that you have copies of any and all footage taken at your event, any interviews recorded and tons of photos.

Be Personal

Take the time to speak to EVERYONE who has come out to be a part of your release party.   They took the time to visit you and listen to your music, YOU take the time to be one on one and place a positive face to your music.  The worst thing you can do is to be a DIVA and not speak friendly to everyone; these are the people that will talk blog, write, review and ultimately play your music to the public.  Piss one of them off and you may not be able to reach any of them again.

Your Presentation is Crucial

Practice your performance in front of mirrors before you get on a stage telling the world how great you are.  Know what you look like holding a microphone, how to move and address your audience, even if you can’t sing well.  Engage your audience and make them a part of your show, happy people make for happy cd reviews.

 Don’t sell your CD at your release party

You have invited press and media and then you tell them that they can buy your cd? That really means that you hold them in contempt and they are no longer interested in you or your project.  Every person that has taken the time to come to your release party should have a complete package on you when they leave, which includes bio, photo, CD and a personalized thank you card.

Reaching the largest audience with a positive message that increase your revenue is the ultimate final result of a GREAT CD RELEASE PARTY.