Attending Music Conferences 101

Just in time for the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis later this week, Dave Cool has released an e-book titled “Attending Music Conferences 101.”

The free pdf download is the first in a series of “Cool’s Notes” for independent artists.

Cool (and, yes that is his real name) is well-equipped to give advice. The maker of a documentary called “What is Indie? A Look into the World of Independent Musicians,” as well as the Director of Member Services for the Canadian Independent Recording Artist’s Association, Cool’s interest lies in making the music business work for musicians.

Though it’s not long, the book is full of sound and practical advice (based in large part on Cool’s own experiences), which is divided into three sections: before, during and after the conference. From the seemingly obvious (bring snacks) to more thorough instruction (like a useful budget-planning spreadsheet), Cool’s covered it all. The intention here is to bring the advantages of planning and organization to artists whose strong suits may be more melodic than methodical.

The book is well designed and easy to read, even for those unfamiliar with e-reading. Cool writes with a friendly, knowledgeable voice that keeps the reader engaged.

Throughout, Cool has highlighted pull quotes from experts in the field, and at the end of the book, he’s printed the full interview transcripts. The interviews are useful in that they provide context for the quotes, as well as an understanding of common concepts for networking and showcase success and how different personalities use those ideas to their own advantage.

Our own Executive Producer, Andy Frank, and Editor-in-Chief David Newland were both interviewed by Cool for the project, along with Jay Aymar and Ember Swift, both artists we’ve covered in these pages, and other worthy voices from the roots and indie music scenes.

Whether for a first-timer or a conference-attending veteran, Dave Cool’s “Attending Music Conferences 101” is required reading for the focus it provides, and the goal-oriented steps it describes for a successful conference.

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