The art of networking at BIGSOUND
Every September the bars and venues across the Fortitude Valley precinct in Brisbane are packed with music industry personnel, media and passionate music lovers alike to watch some of the best upcoming Australian and global acts.
While BIGSOUND is a great time to discover new artists and get a glimpse of the direction of the future trends in music, it’s also a great time to network face to face with peers you’ve been emailing back and forth with over the year or grab a drink with someone that you want to get to know.
There’s only so much you can get to know about someone professionally and personally over email. At the end of the day, it’s the in-person encounters and rapport building that counts the most. It’s those interactions that can truly solidify a relationship and can lead to future partnerships and experiences. It’s also a guaranteed way to stand out because interactions with faces stick.
But how do you network at BIGSOUND in the best way? Here are some tips TMN have put together to get you connecting efficiently over the week.
1. Be Yourself
This may sound a little cheesy but it’s the most authentic advice we can give you for the next couple of days. What makes you different and stand out is your individuality and authenticity. If someone wants you to act different, or you need to alter how you act to “impress” someone then they aren’t worth your time.
As long as you go into the exchange with a mutual respect then you should be able to act as open and as freely as possible. If someone doesn’t completely get your vision or direction and wants to change that, then they aren’t the right person for you to collaborate with.
Remember that you are curating your own future, so you want that to be as authentic to who you are as possible.
Organise. Organise. Organise. This is the key word you should associate yourself with. If you want to sit down with someone or grab a coffee or drink with them over the week then you need to organise yourself and email them.
Most people going to BIGSOUND will already have pretty full calendars, so if there is someone you want to chat with in particular you need to be assertive.
Reach out via email and let them know that you would like to meet up during BIGSOUND, suggest a day and wait for them to respond. With the week already kicking off, don’t get disheartened if some peoples calendars are already full. There are still opportunities to talk to people during panels, showcases and the infamous parties so also use this as a time to network.
3. Personal over business
As excited as we can all get about our individual projects, the most important thing is human connection. When you’re networking and meeting up with people try to focus on being personal and building a rapport with them. Let the business side of things take a backseat because if they want to work with you they will organise to meet up/talk to you after BIGSOUND finishes.
Human connection is the most important thing and it’s what will drive your business endeavours and relationships. So take time to get to know them. Go to a cafe or a bar in the valley or city and take a moment away from the hustle and bustle.
4. Get involved
The best way to stand out and network during BIGSOUND is to get involved. Attend conferences during the day and be apart of the conversation that is happening. Let your personality and opinions show as that is what makes you an individual.
Actively attend the parties and talk to people and don’t be fair to introduce yourself and have a chat. Remember that everyone is there for the exact same reason so they are down to have a drink and chat too.
And attend the showcases and see as many diverse acts as you can. You never know who may just stand out to you.
You don’t know who’s watching at any given moment, so always have respect. Don’t be that one asshole who drinks way too much and makes a fool of themselves. You don’t want to have that reputation in front of everyone in the industry.
When you’re watching a showcase remember to respect the artist/band on stage and be quiet! This is the one thing that BIGSOUND has become notorious for and it’s one thing we NEED to change. So leave your talking and networking to before and after the showcases, don’t take away the artists moment to deliver a killer set.
It’s very distracting for them and it’s also quite disheartening when they’ve spent a lot of money to showcase themselves to the industry and people are only half paying attention.