5 things to do at every Music Conference

Mixshowlive Panel photo

Many of our annual hip hop industry events will be hitting Atlanta this month, and with thousands of people all vying for the attention of the big name in the room, I believe there are a few people who might need some tips.

The one thing to know about any music seminar or hip hop music conference is that everyone is selling something. Whether you’re an artist trying to get a deal, the manager looking for the next best thing, or a media person looking for an in on their favorite artists, everyone is looking for that contact that can make that happen.  So instead of wasting all of your time stalking that one guy from your dream record label, here are a few tips that will make your conference experience feel a lot more fulfilling.

1. Attend everything. The industry circle is small so it’s very possible that you might be able to chat up that big time manager supporting his friend on another panel. A lot of artists like to perform at conferences and make a big grand entrance and exit with their entourage, but we’re always students of the game. You never know what you may learn by attending a few extra events.

2. 10 second convo. We’ve all seen it happen time and time again. The panel is over and 200 people fight each other to get to the target (panelist), just to say what? If you’re gonna do it, keep it brief and don’t be afraid to say, “I just wanted to introduce myself.” they’ll be glad you kept it brief. Plus you can always follow up with them through social media.

3. Be professional and Ask the right questions! Don’t wait on the moderator or the panelist to just give you the answers, and don’t waste the question time with your stupid intro and life story. Your peers will sneer and so will the panelists. There’s only but so much time to get expert advice at such a discounted rate, so respect the movement.

4. Be Social Media Saavy. Attending a conference is not just about meeting industry execs and getting great insight, it’s about meeting other artists in the industry. At the end of the day, you need to build your presence in the community around you, and once you start connecting with other people, you will realize how small the circle really is. When you meet people, send them a Twitter shout out or post you and their photo to your Instagram. Conferences are a great place to get quality, real-life followers, that you can build real relationships with.

5. Do your research! Even when your sitting in those chairs, listening to the good word, open up your schedule and wiki to figure out what role the panelists may play in your career, or how they got to where they are now. There’s nothing wrong with making new friends, but there’s no point schmoozing the R&B producer when you’re looking for the hip hop A&R. This way you also have some material to talk about (aside from your music) when you do get the moment for some one-on-one time.

Remember this is your career and your money. Act like it.

Do you have any other conference tips? We’d love to hear them in the comment section.