Salute, Music industry gatherings- They are the experiences that created the alluring folklore of decadence the entertainment industry was built on. Conferences, festivals, concerts and other events all contribute to the perception of indulgence and debauchery that makes parents and the religious right shudder. But, revelry alone is not what these gatherings are really about.
It is important to attend the annual conferences, such as CMJ’s Music Marathon, or the Radio and Records conference or MACRoCk for radio programmers, or ones such as South by Southwest or the New England Music Organization’s conference on a more regional general music platform. If you intend on making a career in music, this is the best place to start. Even if you do not think you will be involved forever, the contacts you make are great to have during your time at a radio station and you never know how they will play into your life later on. Be it radio programmers, bands or music industry professionals, the conferences play an important role in not only doing our jobs well, but strengthening who we are as individuals.
NETWORKING- The number one activity undertaken at a conference is meeting people and building relationships. Conferences are the opportunity to be introduced to the industry in person. Meet fellow programmers, label reps, bands and their managers, booking agents, publishers and other industry professionals in a variety of settings and enjoy their company, their knowledge and their individual personalities. Collect businesscards, pass out resumes, do what it takes to make the impression. Be sure to be polite, be professional and be pro-active in your attempt to meet new people. Everything revolves around these friendships, so make a good impression and do the upkeep in continuing the relationship fresh even after the conference is over.
PANELS & SPEAKERS– They are gatherings for an educational outpouring. Some of the music industry’s most educated, experienced and opinionated take the time to impart their knowledge and ideas with you in a variety of settings. Topics are usually current and highly applicable to a number of situations and the wealth of information available during both the presentation part and the interactive aspect, allowing you to participate with questions, comments and insights of your own. Think of it in some ways as an interactive classroom situation detailing information you are actually interested in learning about. Absorb the contribution of others and be sure to share some of your own.
MEETINGS & MENTORING- This is an opportunity to get some one-on-one time with people and build or strengthen your relationship with them. It’s a good time to get specific questions answered in greater detail and put more of a personal focus on what is to be learned at a conference. Be them dinner meetings in a social setting or a small group gathering in a session format or something else, each presents a different forum to exploit the unique experience of a conference. Schedule them yourself if you must, or drop in on one of the pre-planned ones during the conference, but don’t miss the chance to take some time to really get to know what’s going on with individuals.
CONCERTS & SHOWCASES– This is usually perceived as the most fun aspect of the conference as it is the bands themselves playing special shows just for you. The showcases are a perfect time to catch bands you have not seen live and may not have even heart of yet, as well as enjoying your old standby favorites. Take the time after a band’s set and introduce yourself. Be sure to spend some time near the merchandise table and try to meet the managers and label reps in attendance. Rock out to the great songs and bring home the experience of the live performance to your audience back home.
EXPOS– These are showcases of products by labels, merchandisers and equipment companies as a way to get to know what they have to offer. The layout of the expo floor allows for diversity in the display and the kinds of things being offered – Media presentatons, kiosks and other audio-visual displays by the likes graphic designers offering to help build websites to an electronics company offering studio equipment upgrades to a merchendiser offering shirts and chachka for bands and stations. It’s a great place to learn, a great place to network and a great place just to hang out and explore what else is going on in the entertainment industry in a fun and relaxed setting.
PARTIES – These social gatherings come in all sizes and varities. From listening parties showcasing new music or videoes pre-release to meet and greets with performers at a club to the usual open bar fun – yeah, there is the after-hours fun that helps bond people together and causes tell-all books to got to number one on the best-seller’s chart. There are also unique, career advancing opportunities and amazing educational experience to be had at these events too, if one was aspiring enough to seize the opportunity.
There is the chance to grow both as an individual and as a music fan. And, there is the potential to leave your own imprint on the industry by contributing to the conference and letting your personality shine forth. So, get out there and get involved, maybe during this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in October. Stop by our Conflict of Interest pre-CMJ party, Tuesday, October 12 or close things out with the annual Free Metal Listening Party we hold at the Korova Milk Bar, Saturday, October 16 and find out more about what makes a Conference career changing.
Watch the big wheel of fun spin like our heads as we begin our preparation for our annual Conflict of Interest Party
QOTW, SATAN & Sometimes
The QUOTE OF THE WEEK goes to Stewie Griffin from Family Guy. Thanks to Netflix, we’ve been catching up on our intake of the Family Guy series and Miss Amy Tso has taken it upon herself to kill any and every funny line with overuse. Her favorite this week? “This is my rifle this is my gun, this is for fighting this is for fun.” You need the visuals to understand the extent of that line’s hilarity, but the quote alone shall do for now, assuming you don’t have grandparents like the doormouse’s who introduced him to that line ages ago!
This week’s YOU ARE SATAN goes to the seemingly harmless sneeze that caused Miss Amy Tso to throw out her back. For the first two days of this week, she was barely mobile and walking around like the hunchback of notre dame. It was a rather comical site. The only thing funnier was watching Miss Amy hurt herself more when she was laughing at us making fun of her.
Sometimes . . . your hands get tired of stickering postcards