Today’s post is by Jem Bahaijoub, owner of imaginePR, and one of our favorite people in the known universe (and maybe even the unknown parts).
Hey there! I’m Jem and I’m currently an adopted member of the FMC team. I run a music PR and marketing company here in Washington, DC called imaginePR, and I work with numerous bands and music organizations in the metro area. I’ve recently started helping FMC with their 10th Anniversary Future of Music Policy Summit, assisting with all things marketing related, and generally having a lot of fun experiencing the behind-the-scenes action of the “conference squad” in the run up to their annual music industry event. I moved to DC a couple of years ago, after working in the music industry in London for many years. The FMC conference was one of the first industry-related events I experienced in the nation’s capital, and I was delighted to discover that DC — although not known as a “music town,” like say, Nashville or New Orleans — is in fact a city of great talent, debate and activity. In fact, I met so many people at my first FMC event who are now amazing friends and industry colleagues. So it’s with great pleasure that I reveal “Jem’s FMC Favorites” for this year’s Future of Music Policy Summit:
1. Networking - Now we all know that the music industry is a big schmoozathon, but at the Future of Music Policy Summit you’ll experience a different kind of schmoozing — the accessible, cosy kind. A key event in the FMC conference calendar is their traditional Pho Dinner which kicks of the conference festivities in great style. It’s a scrummy Vietnamese welcome meal where everyone gets the chance to meet, mingle and officially introduce themselves to other conference attendees. The intimate setting really allows for great conversations and collaborations. A perfect conference ice-breaker. Forget “speed networking,” this is relaxed networking. The quality kind.
2. Musicians Education Day - The first day of the conference is dedicated totally to musicians. Kicking off grandly with a master class by PR supremo Ariel Hyatt. It will also feature a panel discussion on the “New Artist Check-List,” outlining 12 things all artists should do at the beginning of their career, and a conversation about “Indie Labels in 2010.” The day is jam-packed with great advice for musicians at all stages in their career. If you are a DC musician and you are NOT signed up yet, then I’m wagging my finger at you! There are musician scholarships available, but they’re going fast, so hurry!
3. Learning - Above all else, I’m looking forward to learning! The Future of Music Policy Summit is an amazing resource for industry education, and my head is constantly buzzing with new information when I’m there. The accessible and informal “SuperSessions” format really nurtures an interactive environment too. From an international perspective, if there is anyone wishing to attend the conference from abroad who can’t make it, then I thoroughly recommend you tune into the live event webcast. You will get a great overview of the issues affecting the US music industry, and how they differ and relate to other countries. It was certainly an eye-opener for me as a newbie in the US.
4. The New Hustle: Direct-to-Fan Case Studies - I’m especially excited to be moderating the panel “The New Hustle: Direct-to-Fan Case Studies” on October 3rd which will explore the wide array of tools and devices out there to reach fans and create revenue. We have all heard of artists who have launched creative direct-to-fan campaigns, but which ones have actually worked out long-term? What can we learn from the experiences of other artists who have “got amongst it” with their fans? This is exactly what we will be finding out, so stay tuned!
5. Georgetown in the Fall - In between listening, learning, and meeting new people, it’s also imperative that everyone gets the opportunity to hop, skip and jump across Georgetown University campus in the Fall (or Autumn as us Brits like to call it). It’s an idyllic setting for a fun-filled 3 days of industry debate. Go on, you know you want to.
If by chance you miss the event (only a limited number of excuses are acceptable!), then you can follow me while I tweet, tweet, tweet away about all things FMC at @jembahaijoub, alternatively follow FMC’s official stream at @future_of_music and keep track of the hashtag #FMC10 to join the conversation.
Hope to see you in D.C.!