Guest Writer: Justin Bailey, IPR Music & Entertainment Business Alumnus
During my time at IPR, I was able to meet a plethora of incredibly talented and intelligent people, many of whom I am confident will go on to do amazing things in the entertainment industry. One of those people I met was a woman named Kelsey Geiger.
Kelsey attended IPR a little bit before I did, but we followed almost the exact same path during our time there. Still, even after we both graduated and have started finding job’s around the Twin Cities, we end up in the same places. From working together as interns for Go 95.3/96.3, to our work inside the box office at Myth Live in Maplewood, to seeing each other at Music At The Zoo events, our paths continue to cross.
Marketing With Creative Minds Management and Music in Minnesota
Last summer, Kelsey mentioned to me that she had started her own artist management company called Creative Minds Management, and floated the idea of bringing me on to assist her with some of the workload she had accumulated. Time passed, and unfortunately, life got in the way a little bit, but in November we reconnected on the idea and decided that would be the time to bring me in the mix.
My official title is Marketing & Media Relations Manager, a really fancy way of saying that I assist in the day-to-day social media management of our team of artists, and help procure coverage for them from websites and blogs across the country. The second part being a little easier as I also hold the title of Managing Editor for a Minnesota-based music publication called Music In Minnesota.
In December, I got a phone call from Kelsey asking me if I would be interested in traveling to Anaheim, California in January to attend this year’s NAMM show. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about NAMM when I answered that phone call but I heard the words “travel” and “California” and I was sold.
We applied and eventually were given credentials for the event, but I started struggling to figure out why two people with Music & Entertainment Business Degrees were travelling across the country to what is described as “the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products, pro audio and event tech industry.”
NAMM Resources for Music and Entertainment Business Students
However, I then discovered their program titled NAMM U, an educational series of lectures ranging from topics like sales, marketing, management, finance, lessons, and industry training. I knew right after reading this that the trip was going to be well worth it, not to mention Kelsey’s impeccable ability to network with anyone and everyone, hopefully leading to many more industry connections.
We booked flights, got an Airbnb (more on that later), and started preparing for our trip out West. NAMM has an app to go along with the entire week of events, and although I definitely have some recommendations on how they could make it a lot better, we were able to schedule out almost our entire weekend in advance, making sure we never missed anything particularly important to us.
Networking and Presentations
The bulk of our schedule included attending presentations by guest speakers, such as a Friday double-feature from Jenn Herman, whose presentations on Instagram Marketing Tips & Facebook Success Strategies were highlights of the weekend. She has been called the “World’s Forefront Instagram Blogger,” and her presentation at NAMM 2019 certainly backed that up.
A personal favorite of mine was a special hour-long presentation from Single Throw Marketing CEO, Larry Bailin, who spoke about the importance of capitalizing on the diverse options of marketing offered by Google, a company he has worked with extensively in the past. I stopped by his booth after the presentation and was able to pick up a pamphlet which outlined the marketing strategy they used for the Shark Tank product ‘Chord Buddy,’ a product I remember seeing on the show and in stores around the Twin Cities
On Saturday, we made sure to stop by the booth of Electro-Voice, the company who was nice enough to invite Kelsey & I out for the weekend. EV is an American manufacturer of audio equipment, including microphones, amplifiers, and loudspeakers, focused on pro audio applications such as sound reinforcement, and their booth at NAMM was extremely impressive, even to two business nerds like us.
Of course, Saturday was also filled with many presentations & lectures for us to attend, ranging in topics from “5 Online Marketing Trends to Increase Sales” to “5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Social Media.”
Personal Highlights from NAMM
My personal highlight from the day, which happened to also be another “5” list, was a presentation by Inbound AV’s Madison Revell, who told us “5 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working.” Building and managing websites is one of the key things Kelsey & I want to accomplish for all of our artists, and is something I already do for Music In Minnesota, so that was an extremely beneficial presentation for me to attend.
In between all the chaos of running back and forth to presentations, we made sure to check out as much of the convention center as possible, which housed thousands of booths from literally every single company you can possibly think of in this industry.
Although we do most of our work behind a computer desk and don’t have a huge base of knowledge when it comes to audio gear & equipment, it was still quite cool to be surrounded by so many different types of booths, and being able to experience some of these things up close and personal was really fun for us.
Additionally, I have to give a quick shout out to Bridget, our wonderfully amazing Airbnb host for the three days we spent in Anaheim. She was literally the best host one could ever ask for, making us fresh breakfast and coffee every single morning, and spends her weekends tending to the beautiful garden in the backyard of her home, the perfect spot to enjoy that fresh coffee.
Just by coincidence, also staying at Bridget’s house that week were two women from Austria, in town to attend NAMM 2019 as well! Both from Vienna, Hanna Kristall, a pop singer who has been described as sounding “a little like Madonna – only with a better voice,” and her friend, Sarah Fürlinger, a composer who goes by the name Zarah Lii, were the best “housemates” we could have asked for, and were very fun to hang out with every day!
Overall, the weekend we spent at NAMM 2019 was incredibly beneficial for both of us, not only for the work we are doing together for Creative Minds Management, but for the multitude of other projects we both can be juggling at any given time. Of course, a weekend away from Minnesota in 60+ degree weather was a highlight of its own.