Here’s your guide to getting the most out of music conferences

Eventbrite helps power music conferences like EMC and allows tens of millions of people to get ticket on a safe, easy to use platform. 

In less than three weeks, the Electronic Music Conference will hit Sydney for 2016. Over five seriously stacked days, EMC will throw parties around the city, hold drinks where you can network with the industry’s power players and host keynote talks from A-list artists, roundtable discussions on the dance music’s hot-button issues and production tutorials where emerging artists can learn to sharpen their skills.

If you work in the dance music industry – or you want to – being at conferences like EMC is an essential part of taking your career to the next level. They’re places where you can make invaluable connections, wise up with the right sort of advice and get your name out there. So to help you get the most out of heading to music conferences, we asked a cast of this year’s EMC speakers for their hot tips – read on to find out how you can get the most out of conferences and grab your EMC ticket here.

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What should you do to prepare for a conference?

Paces, Artist: “HAVE. EVERYTHING. PREPARED. If you’re a musician/producer/singer/rapper/etc, have a handful of USB sticks on you with your 3 best tracks, a short bio, a decent photo of you, and all your social links. You might get randomly introduced to some awesome overseas booking agent, at which point you’ll be able to casually say “Oh and here’s my music and info, if you like it I’d love to talk when you have a chance.” Much better to do it that way than to chase them down via email a month later hoping they remember you.”

Sam Korotkov, Artist Manager: “A little research goes a long way. I often find I’m more connected to a speaker if I’ve heard them talk before, so put in a little bit of work ahead of time – find panelists that inspire you, those you’re intrigued by and map out your day. It won’t be possible to make every session, so think about the topics you have a keen interest in – but also challenge yourself by sitting in on something you may not be completely across.”

Anna Fitzgerald, Ministry of Sound: “Have a good read of the conference program and speakers so you know what you want to see. And get a lot of sleep leading up to the conference, because you don’t want to miss any EMCPlay gigs either. There are always plenty of amazing showcases and gigs to check out at several venues, so you need lots of energy to bounce from one gig to the next!”

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How can you get the most out of music conferences?

Sam Korotkov, Artist Manager: “There is every chance that you will be attending EMC with a friend or two, which no doubt means differing tastes and ideas. This is awesome for debate and discussion afterward, but it can also be a big distraction. Often someone will try pulling you away to see another panel, but don’t be tempted – stay true to your own game plan. If you’ve done your research you’ll have a good idea of what your objectives are for the day. I often find I can engage fully in the conversation on stage when I actually want to be in that room. It may also give you a little more confidence to stand up and ask a question if you don’t have a friend who’s been in year ear distracting you during the talk.”

Anna Fitzgerald, Ministry of Sound: “Plan ahead. Check out the timetable of keynote speeches and panels and work out where you need to be and when. And network. If you have heard an inspiring talk or want to talk to an artist/manager/agent, don’t be afraid to approach someone. There’s usually plenty of opportunities to network at events outside of the talks.”

Paces, Artist: “As much as you want to see everything, there’s always going to be clashes. So plan out which sessions are most relevant to your career path. If you’re a producer, go to the masterclasses. If you’re an aspiring manager or starting a record label, the business talks might be more essential to you.”

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What’s the best way to approach someone you’d like to work with?

Rhiannon Cook, Positive Feedback: “Look at who they have worked with, what they have achieved in their career, be prepared. Approach them after a session, show them that you know who they are and how you think they can help you/work with you. Keep it brief in the first instance (conferences are a blur of people saying hi!) and see if they have time to have a quick chat then or set up a meeting for another time.”

Ignacio Garcia, Swerve Group: “Drop them an email pre-conference and introduce yourself. During the conference, a simple handshake and short introduction is enough. Stay positive – relationships take a long time to build, so be patient if nothing eventuates from an initial meet.”

Anna Fitzgerald, Ministry of Sound: “Most speakers can be approached straight after their panel or talk. Often people can approach you with CDs or USBs of their music, but these can get misplaced over the day. If someone comes up and introduces themselves and asks for my contact details, it’s then easy to follow up with an email. I’ve also had people hit me up on LinkedIn or Twitter after a talk and that’s another easy way to get in contact.”

Paces, Artist: “Just be a regular person and say hi! Not everyone has time to take on more collabs and projects, so don’t go in with too many expectations. But if you end up becoming friends with a person, who knows what could happen down the track. That’s how networking goes. Just saying hi can lead to being friends online, which can lead to an awareness of what you do, which can lead to working together. So many of my collaborations have happened this way and via Twitter etc.”

Eventbrite helps power music conferences like EMC and allows tens of millions of people to get ticket on a safe, easy to use platform.