Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Music Seminar, Chicago, IL 10/6/2009

I didn’t know what to expect from the New Music Seminar on October 6th so I went with an open mind and open ears. With badge in hand, I found a seat directly in the thick of it all. In a strange twist of irony, I happened to have a job interview earlier that same day. Because of that, 4 p.m. was the earliest I could get there. It didn't matter. The important thing was that I showed up! What a thrill! These few words are all that is necessary to describe my adventures when I walked through the front doors of the Park West situated just north of the loop in downtown Chicago.

Right out of the gate I found a comfy seat. I caught the tail end of the panel called the " The Creative Process and Radical Differentiation". Despite the fact that it was nearly over by the time I got in, I still absorbed a lot from it! The next panel, " Your Live Show & Tour: Simple Steps to Cut Through the Glut & Reach the Magic 300 Ticket Mark" began. The panel members, Martin Atkins, Tour:Smart; Invisible Records, Joe Carsello, The Metro (prominent Chicago club), and others, took the stage. Two large video screens mounted on either side of the stage began to fill up with messages sent from audience members’ cell phones in the wireless abyss. Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy Entertainment and a whole slew of other music business related careers) gave his final words including a proverb from a prominent Native American, which was very moving. The New Music Seminar wrapped up as neatly as it unfolded.

After the panels ended, the lights came up and room became a Schmooza-torium (yes, that’s what they called it). New contacts and friends were soon made by attendees and panel member alike. I recognized a few faces. CyberPR founder and social networking/PR master Ariel Hyatt was someone I was curious to meet. I read her "Music Success in Nine Weeks", watched her YouTube interviews with guys like Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby and an old high school acquaintance), and admired her aggressive, yet honest approach to helping Indie musician's get their names out there.

I recognized Ariel from across the room and knew that it was now or never. I had to meet her! This was it! I had to overpower the music on stage to grab her attention. I called her name and she immediately turned and smiled. She greeted me with a kind hello and I introduced myself. Just to point out how kind she is, she immediately grabbed her camera and took a picture of us!

Unfortunately, there was just too much going on at the time to actually have a conversation. Ariel was surrounded by names like Michael Spiegelman (head of Yahoo! Music), Lou Plaia (co-founder of ReverbNation), and the list went on and on! I respected her space and moved on to talk with local artists . I hope one day to get another chance to talk to her in person. I wasn't looking for a PR person at the time (however things will be changing in the months to come). But I am definitely considering approaching Ariel simply based on the great energy and positive attitude I felt from her.

Simply put, I appreciate and respect those out there who are helping sculpt the new music business and supporting independent musicians like me. I want to thank the organizers of the NMS. I hope they have this even next year (and I plan not to have a job interview on the same day). And a huge thanks to Ariel for coming to Chicago and for her efforts in propelling indie musicans to new heights!

If you’d like to learn about the NMS, please visit this link.

And if you’d like to learn about Ariel Hyatt and her Cyber PR services, please visit this link.

Did you attend the New Music Seminar in Chicago? If so, let me know what you thought. Would you go again next year?