Making plans to do other activities while in town for a music conference is an excellent way to maximize your trip to a music city. In this music business tutorial, professional musician Cliff Goldmacher suggests scheduling a meeting with your performing rights organization representative and signing up for a writer's night. Meeting face to face with industry professionals and other songwriters is well worth your time.
- The first thing to do when you're planning on going to a music conference is to make plans to do other things while you're in town. Visiting a music city means having access to people, organizations, and events that most likely aren't available to you wherever you live if you don't live in a major music city. So, for example, you could schedule a meeting with your PRO and by way of explanation, PRO is Performing Rights Organization, like BMI, or ASCAP or SESAC.
If you aren't affiliated with a PRO yet, this is an excellent chance to meet with representatives from all of the organizations to find out more about what each of them has to offer. The key here is to keep these meetings short and to the point. Bring in a song or two so that the representative has a sense of where you are as a songwriter and leave it at. Having someone in your corner at a PRO is a very useful thing and getting that first face-to-face meeting can be essential.
A word to the wise, be very patient and start planning this meeting many months in advance of the conference because it's difficult to get in touch with members of the PRO and requires quite a bit of follow-up and persistence. Another thing you can keep in mind is to schedule in advance for a slot in an open mic or a writer's night while you're in town. Do a little homework. Find a few of the popular places in the town where you're going where these events happen. And it may be that you can't reserve a spot in advance but you certainly be aware of these events and be there in time to take part.
The key here is that you'll be meeting other writers and making valuable contacts with potential collaborators for future visits.