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September 2012 - Music Connection

It is always wise to be courteous and friendly

toward the people working at the event as they

can provide you with valuable information.

Make sure you keep track of all the business

cards and other materials you receive. I like to ask

for people’s cell phone number if it is not on their

business card so that I may call them while still at

the confab, if appropriate.

When I meet an attendee with whom I want

to keep in touch, I ask them to please let me

know when they will be in Los Angeles so we can

meet again. Make sure you get as much contact

information as possible because phone numbers

change, as do jobs.

Very often when I am at a music industry

summit, aspiring artists give me CDs, and if it

is an out-of-town conference it is hard to carry

them all home. A clever

way to distribute your

music and photos, etc.,

is to put them on a

thumb drive attached

to a lanyard, making

it easier for people to

transport.

Do not be shy. The

vast majority of people

that you meet will be

cordial. Try to establish

something in common

with the person you are meeting, such as

mutual friends or being fans of the same band.

This will help establish some rapport. Smile and

be polite. Let them know that you are someone

they should meet.

Networking is not just about approaching

people; it is what you say and do after you meet

them. And remember, don’t make it all about

you––show that you’re interested in their career

objectives.

Everybody has probably met someone at an

event who will not stop talking. Do not let anyone

take up all of your time. Find a polite way to

end the conversation and move on.

If you are alone at the conference, it is usually

a good idea to make a friend there, whether

or not you believe they are a good contact for

you. You will enjoy the conference more, you

will have someone to eat and hang out with,

and chances are you will end up meeting more

people if you have a “wingman.”

You must get out as much as possible.

Explore restaurants close to the hotel where attendees

will be congregating. If the conference

provides breakfasts or luncheons, make a point

to attend. You are not going to meet anyone

sitting by yourself in your hotel room!

For convenience and the

informal networking opportunities stay

at the hotel where the conference

is located.

HOW TO BE AN EXHIBITOR, VOLUNTEER, OR

SPEAKER AT THE CONFERENCE

If you have a product or service to sell you

could consider being an exhibitor, although this

may be cost prohibitive.

Many conferences charge between $100-

$500, or more, for a pass. If that is not within

your budget, you could consider volunteering

your time at the event. This is a great way to

network and meet tons of people. Usually the

organization’s website will have information on

volunteering.

If you have expertise in the music business,

consider offering yourself as a speaker on a

panel or as a moderator. This affords you great

exposure to everyone at the event and instant

credibility. Most conferences’ websites have a

place to apply as a speaker.

ATTENDING PANELS AND WORKSHOPS

Though you have already decided which

panels interest you, don’t be afraid to move

from panel to panel depending on your instincts.

Be open to changing your schedule depending

on what seems promising. When you get to a

panel try to arrive as early as possible. You may

be able to find a seat next to someone who you

think you may want to talk to. Before the panel

begins is a time to work the room and meet

people, since everyone is waiting for the panel

to start.

Some conference attendees like to rush up

at the conclusion of a panel to try and converse

with the panelists. But this is usually not the

most opportune time to meet these speakers

because of the crowd of people

who have the same idea. Some

high-profile panelists may even

leave immediately after the panel

ends without speaking to anyone.

However, you can still try to connect

with the speaker, though you may

not have much time. If this is your

plan, sit in the front so you can get

to the speaker quickly at the end of

the panel discussion. It may be an

opportunity to give them your card.

Keep in mind that most speakers

are not necessarily at the conference to search

for new talent, but may be there simply to share

their knowledge, learn from others and possibly

network themselves. For instance, if you give

your flash drive or CD to a music attorney you

meet at the conference, that attorney may not

even listen to it if he or she does not “shop”

aspiring artists. It is better to try to establish a

rapport with someone and explain who you are

before you give them your music. If you are an

aspiring artist with a manager, it would be ideal

if you could both attend the event.

Remember that your networking is not just

with the people who are speaking on the panel.

The person next to you could be someone you

could collaborate with, or who could produce

your music, or introduce you to a manager. Or

they may simply become a friend. So do not

limit your networking to the panelists. Here’s a

great tip: Asking a smart pertinent question at a

panel gives you an opportunity to let the entire

room know who you are.

42 September 2012 www.musicconnection.com

SHOWCASING

If you are an artist or band you should consider

showcasing at conferences that feature

live performances. Make sure to apply early and

follow up with emails to see what the status is.

Also find out if there is any charge for showcasing

and whether they provide benefits to the

performers.

For instance, I was at music conference

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