What is a music conference? It can be described as a one-to few-day event, usually held at a hotel or event space where people in the music industry and artists gather to listen to guest speakers during the day and to performances by showcased artists at night. Unless you are selected as a performing artist, you must pay daily to attend.
Sounds like a great networking opportunity where you might meet some folks who, if they like your stuff, could help take your music career to the next level, right? Unfortunately we have found that these conferences seem to be little more than chance for the oftentimes amateur “music industry” speakers to pedal their services.
Unnamed Town invited around 40 performers to attend their conference for free as long as they play at designated “venues” around the town, unpaid. The old “exposure” lure. Well, first off it is not good exposure if there’s no one living in your town, as is the case with most of these conferences. Honestly, look at some of the ones listed on the opportunities section of Reverbnation and Sonicbids.
The assaults to intelligence continue when they offer great hotel deals—there is usually only one hotel in the town, it’s usually pretty expensive. As in the case of Unnamed Town, the conference was held in a beach community but in the winter, where nothing was open in walking distance of the hotel.
You want to know which social platform has the most reach? Go to the source and ask a couple of 16-year-olds. Want to know strategy? Google that it! There are so many useful articles and forums. Although generally not as offensive as other speakers, you will walked away with nearly half the amount of revelations on strategy that I have read online—for free.
The touring artists are the men and women that usually have the most value. They are the ones living the life and fighting the good fight. This usually are the most up to date on all facets of the industry because of necessity to survive and continue what they are doing. This necessity weeds out what works and what doesn’t quick.
Talks about the legal aspect of the business are also important at these conference. Most musicians don’t take the time to learn about all of the things they need to know about protecting their rights as a musician. As musicians, we just want to play and not worry about any of the non creative things. Hopefully you can just hire someone for that, but you should still have a general idea of what is going on.
With everything in life there is good and bad. It is all a matter of perspective and what you were looking to take away from the conference. It’s worth it to at least go to one to see if you gain anything from it. It will never hurt your career.
[Reprinted From: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/]