WAM Conference 2015

I found the WAM conference to be beneficial in learning information from music industry professionals as well as being able to network with them. Starting on Thursday 5 November 2015 was the WAM Awards at Jack Rabbit Slims. Amazing to such a crowd of talent and professionalism of the music industry. It was great to see who won each of the winners, win in their perspective genre or music position. The winners were
• BEST BLUES / ROOTS ACT – Morgan Bain – WINNER
• BEST COUNTRY ACT – Ruby Boots – WINNER
• BEST ELECTRONIC ACT – KUČKA – WINNER
• BEST EXPERIMENTAL ACT – KUČKA – WINNER
• BEST FOLK ACT – Jacob Diamond – WINNER
• BEST INDIGENOUS ACT – Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse – WINNER
• BEST JAZZ ARTIST – Ben Vanderwal – WINNER
• BEST METAL / HEAVY ACT – Voyager – WINNER
• BEST PUNK/HARDCORE ACT – Scalphunter – WINNER
• BEST POP ACT – Methyl Ethel – WINNER
• BEST ROCK ACT – Tired Lion – WINNER
• BEST URBAN ACT – Coin Banks – WINNER
• BEST WORLD MUSIC ACT – Grace Barbé – WINNER
• BEST ALBUM – Tame Impala – Currents – WINNER
• BEST EP – Tired Lion – Figurine – WINNER
• BEST SINGLE – Methyl Ethel – Twilight Driving – WINNER
• BEST RECORD LABEL – Spinning Top – WINNER
• MEDIA AWARD – Bob Gordon (X-Press Magazine) – WINNER
• GOLDEN WAMi – Andrew Ryan – WINNER

  • Winners of awards that were voted on by the public were:
    • MOST POPULAR ACT – Tame Impala – WINNER
    • MOST POPULAR NEW ACT – Koi Child – WINNER
    • MOST POPULAR LIVE ACT – Tame Impala – WINNER
    • MOST POPULAR MUSIC VIDEO – Tame Impala – Let It Happen – WINNER
    • MOST POPULAR VENUE – Mojos Bar – WINNER
    • MOST POPULAR MUSIC EVENT – St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival – WINNER

Friday 6 November 2015 started the first day of the conference. The Keynote where Sarah Tout interviews Fred Pessaro is the first seminar of the day. Fred is the editor at large for music at VICE. He provided some me with some useful information in regards to press releases. The useful information was

  • Know your audience
  • Know your media audience
  • Know how and how your audience will react to
  • Don’t send your press release out to everybody but rather send it to the right people
  • Bold information you want people to see first

The Biz: Starting a Successful Music Business was another seminar that I went to that did provide me with some information in which I could take away from. The Moderator was Scot Adam and the panellists that joined him were Tim Kelly, Bourby Webster, Adam Weston and Andrew Fuller. The information I was able to take away was:

  • Create a checklist for launches
  • Create a release campaign
  • Think about your brand and who your customers are
  • Have a structure in place to show income and expenditure
  • Have confidence in your business
  • Be upfront with your fees and don’t justify why you charged that
  • As your business grows focus on the things you can do and outsource the rest

The last seminar for Friday was Keep On Streaming. Sarah Chipman from Title Track was the moderator and the panellists were Andy Vincent from Spotify, Tim Kelly from Inertia, Mike O’Hanlan from Hipflask and Dan Cribb from themusic.com.au. What I took away from the seminar was:

  • Where each panellist looks for new music. This includes mates sending through links of bands/ artists they are into, digitally, pitching artists to labels, streaming, through who they have played live with and radio.
  • 25% of Spotify users skip after the first 5 seconds. As a result introductions in songs have become less important.
  • Australia is the 5 biggest English speaking country to be playing music on Spotify
  • What new artists need to do in order to sell/ stream music. They are
    • Understand the value of what they bring
    • Understand the problems they bring
    • How songs connect to their audience
    • There is no limit as to what you can do. Always push for more and what you can do to build it.
  • When servicing music overseas the area needs to be researched, it is expensive to send CDs overseas and that streaming is the best option to get your music overseas.

Saturday 7 November 2015 started with a seminar for Social Media. The Moderator was Anton Maz from WAAPA and the Panelists were Janelle Morse from Morse Code PR, Andrew Mathwin from Clarity Communications and Troy Mutton from Pilerats. This seminar answers the question ‘How can I increase reach and better engage with fans?’, as well as what is best to do and what not to do.

How can I increase reach and better engage with fans?

  • Know your audience and what they like. Think about the age of the audience and what they do.
  • Entertain people/ audience. Make sure it’s aligned with what you do.
  • Needs to be consistently personable.
  • Inspire your audience.

Info I got out of what is best to do and what not to do are:

  • Start with using just Facebook and Instagram
  • There are particular times of the day and the week to post on Facebook. In Australia 6am – 9am, 6pm – 10pm and on weekends is best time to post content. Internationally 3pm is the best time to post content.
  • Test and learn your budget
  • Don’t just boost post on Facebook. Take the time to learn ads manager
  • Get influences to talk on your behalf
  • Do not post negative status’
  • If in a band, use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’
  • Address negative comments
  • Response time to posts should be within a couple of hours and should be personal
  • Research cheats for Facebook.
  • Get friends onto Triple J Unearthed to review and listen to music
  • Have a variety of content coming on Facebook. Create a 30 day plan and post behind the scenes and gigs
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things

The last seminar of the day was called Recording: To DIY or Not To DIY. The Moderator was Anna Laverty, Coel Healy from Camp Doogs, Daniel Cribb from TheMusic.com.au and Mike O’Hanlon from Hipflask. There wasn’t too much I got out of this seminar as I found that Anna Laverty was the only one who could provide info and incites. What I could take out of the seminar was:

  •  Producers work on time management, budget management, know how long it will take and plan of what you want and when.
  • Focus in amazing songwriting rather than an amazing recording.
  • Provide references before the recording process starts
    • Get the books Mixing with the Mind by Michael Stavrey and Mixer Man

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