I honestly believe that when it comes to conferences you need to do a few things before committing your funds to them. The first is to do your research. Who attends the conference. Are they people that you wish to learn from? Will you be able to talk with the panelists after the panel ends or do they just take off and leave the conference to never be seen again. And you also need to realize that you have to treat this as a serious endeavor, it’s not a vacation and you can’t be shy.
So how exactly can you do your due diligence when it comes to a conference? I usually start with their website. How thorough is it? Can you see what panels they are offering? Are those panels presentations that can help you move to the next level?
After looking at the website, I will go to YouTube to see if there are any videos about the event posted. Sometimes you can view a panel presentation. Sometimes you will get a video review from an attendee. You are looking for anything that gives you an idea that the conference is exactly what it says it is. I’ve seen way too many times when a conference has people on panels that really are better suited to be in the audience than on the stage giving wrong info to the attendees.
You should also try to set up meetings with people you want to meet with before the conference. That will minimize your downtime and it is also much easier to get someone to meet with you if they too are already going to be at the conference.
As a lot of you know, I help run a conference that caters to the Dance/Pop/Rhythmic music worlds, called the Promo Only Summer Sessions. Our website shows you who attended last year via pictures, videos, program guide pdf’s and also shows the costs to come to the event. Our event is a bit different as badges aren’t offered to the public. It’s an invite only event and we do that to keep the quality of the attendees high. That insures that people that pay to sponsor are going to get much more than their monies worth. So head over to http://www.posummersessions.com and check it out.
Have any questions about music conferences? Feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer.