Just about 24hrs away from #MXM2014, here’s everything you need to know about the program and panels.
The inaugural #MXM2014 Mix/Master Conference and Showcase is an opportunity to pick up some great info about the music industry, connect with musicians in the local scene and see a kick-ass live show. All in one room, on one day. With help from our partners and sponsors, we have assembled a line-up of music industry experts you won’t see in one venue, outside of an Arcade Fire performance.
Here’s how it breaks down:
12 Noon – Don Simon – Music Law & Business Overview
Don Simon of Simon Biz Consulting has a way of explaining things that anyone can understand, even the complicated things like music publishing and synchronization. Get your pen and paper ready (see tips below), and pay attention – some of the terms and concepts introduced in this first presentation will be referred to throughout the rest of the day. Don’t miss this.
1pm – Panel – Radio In The Land Of Digital
This hour is dedicated to talking about the role that radio plays in supporting independent music. The panel discussion will ask how radio stations can help emerging bands and artists, what some of the most successful independent stations do to support local music, and how events, digital and multimedia strategies can benefit both the artist and the radio station. Oh yeah, and there’ll be tips on how to get played on the radio – it’s still awesome.
On the panel:
Mark Manning (KKFI)
|Lucas Homer (KJHK)
|Sarah Bradshaw (The Bridge 90.9)
2pm – Break for Lunch (not really – see tip #3 below)
If you need to eat, now is the time. If you’ve got a burning hot disc in your pocket, now is probably a good idea to offload it. If you’re looking for a bass player, that dude beside you looks like he might be good. Talk and connect. Eat and drink.
3pm – A Moving Target: Music Promotion & Growing Your Audience
This panel is an open discussion with an array of people from the music industry. From artists through promoters, bookers and bloggers, we’re all doing the same thing – bringing music to the people. Some of the questions that we might pose to the panel and the floor: what’s the first step to knowing and growing your audience? What’s changed with the technology and tools available? What’s best to avoid when spending time and money on promotion? What’s the quickest and easiest way to book a gig? And so on.
On the panel:
|Chris Haghirian (INK)
4pm – Demo Dip
This is definitely our most adventurous undertaking for #MXM2014. The idea is simple, we pick demos out of a box at random, listen to anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute (or possibly as far as the 1st chorus) and then our panelists offer feedback on what they heard. Simple, right?
Well, really there may not be time for more than a cursory reaction. But for bands and artists: pay attention! Sometimes all you get with a discerning booker, blogger or radio host is that first impact. Now, any one person’s opinion is only one person’s opinion. No-one is here to rip your music apart, but the process of understanding how your music is heard and seeing those reactions in real time (even in a room of strangers) is big learning opportunity.
Where possible, panelists will offer suggestions based on how and where your sound might work best, or you might get tips on similar-sounding artists to pursue and research more. You might pick up a new fan. Or you might have to go back to the drawing board. We just don’t know. It’s exciting and little daunting for everyone involved. Good luck!
Some Demo Dip Tips
- Bring a CD – that’s how we’re playing the music. We don’t have to listen to the very first track, so if you change your mind and want to see what kind of reaction track 3 gets, go for it!
- Pick your best song – obvious maybe, but make sure something happens in the first minute!
- Don’t take it personally – this is hard to do, but try to understand how the music is being received and what is behind any feedback, rather than focus on any one point or word! Bear in mind the industry and relationship the panelist is bringing to the listening.
- Be prepared to learn objectively – it’s possible that everyone in the room will love your music, but it’s more likely to be a learning experience for you to take away from. Plan accordingly, but maybe have your Mom on speed-dial, just in case.
On the panel:
(INK, Middle of the Map)
(The Deli Magazine KC)
(The Bridge 90.9)
General Tips for Panel & Info Sessions
Bring a pen. Bring paper. [Bring a pen & paper]
You’re not going to come away with all the answers, in fact you may have more questions. The point is to make sure that they’re the right questions. You’ll need to note websites, contact details, important concepts and you may even feel inspired to doodle your way through tackling the music industry. Why not?
Bring your demo. Bring a business card [Bring something to leave behind]
The people participating book gigs. They play songs on the radio. They meet and connect with promoters, record labels and managers. You want them to listen to your stuff. Don’t let presentation slow you down. CD-Rs, tapes, memory sticks, whatever you’ve got. Bring along a bunch of copies, make sure your contact details/website/facebook URL are on there.
We are taking a break for lunch, but it’s not really just for lunch. It’s a chance for you to meet other artists and connect with people from your local music community. The showcase gig is an important part of this too, and our partners will be around all day. Ask questions, pick up literature, chat to someone new. The Bottleneck has beer too, you know. It helps with the hanging around.
Follow the conversation
We’re employing the wonderfully 21st Century tool of the hashtag – ours is #MXM2014. Tweet, Instagram, do you thing. Selfies will be completely open to ridicule.
All our panelists and speakers are giving their time freely. They’re cool people, so you should be cool too. Again, you are not going to get all the answers and you are not going to sign a record deal at #MXM2014. But you have an opportunity to say hello, make an introduction and an impression. Be courteous and patient. We know you will.
Take our survey
Help us figure out who you are and what you might need for future events. This project is a collaboration between some amazing people who support and work in the arts and music industry (including your local City Cultural Arts Commission.) Your info is like a currency for us, and it doesn’t cost you a thing, except a few minutes of your time. Take the survey now, or catch a volunteer on the day.
Read all of the above!
If you skipped any of the above, go back and read it. It will make the experience all the more worthwhile. But good for you, trying to save some time!