Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘CMA Music Festival’

In a previous post, I mentioned other community events that seem to go perfectly. When I think back to the CMA Music Festival, everything seemed like it was perfect. The shows went well, the vendors seemed happy and fans had a blast. It all went off without a hitch, right?

Biggest fans at the CMA Music Festival

Kirby Smith, Bob Doerschuck, Lindsey Bynum and I -- the biggest country music fans having a blast at the CMA Music Festival.

Wrong. It may seem as if everything is fine because of the glamour of events themselves, but I bet someone behind the scenes is struggling, praying everything works out for the best. That’s what I do.

As I plan the Rockin’ Country Festival, I realize that it’s very unlikely anything has ever gone off without a hitch. Between the plans that lead up to the event, the promotion and the event itself, something is going to cause frustration for those involved in the strategic planning process.

Yes, strategic planning. What? I mentioned this before. Do you think events just happen? Nope. Do you think people just show up? Again, no way. Every event takes a lot of effort. I’ve been working on this festival month after month. And if you count my brainstorming sessions, it’s been a year! I put together a plan, which definitely evolved before I began implementing it all.

Well, now I’m a month out from the Rockin’ Country Festival, and boy, oh, boy do I feel frustrated. I still do not have the lineup finalized, and I need to begin heavy promotions. I’ve been working on this for a solid two months straight now. Coordinating everyone’s schedules with everyone else’s schedule is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

Tip #1: Over estimate the amount of time for people to respond to your message. It’s better to allow too much time than not enough time. It will reduce your stress level and provide you more time for other things you need to accomplish.

Clock representing time ticking away

Image from nysut.org

The clock is ticking. Therefore, the next four weeks of my life are devoted to promoting the Rockin’ Country Festival. Here are the promotional tools I think will work best:

  1. Social media
  2. Blogging
  3. Traditional PR
  4. Smaller, pre-events

And here’s why I’m using them and why they’re important for all you musicians out there (hint: promote your show on your end).

Social media seems to be the best method in today’s era. Check out this year’s Facebook statistics to see why it’s such a valuable mechanism. And of course, Twitter is ideal to keep it short and sweet.

Ping Logo

Apple's logo for Ping

Tip #2: If you’re a musician, get on all social media sites, especially Ping. It’s my newest social media membership, but for musicians, it’s ideal. You can be recommended by your fans, which is an authentic way to grow your fan base. Without true fan endorsements, how will increase your visibility? 

I’m using my blog to tell potential concert goers more about the bands participating in my festival. I figure it’s a great way generate buzz and develop a conversation. This way I know if I’m on track, if I’m giving concert goers what they want. Hopefully, my readers will recognize the opportunity to let me know if they have any suggestions for the Rockin’ Country Festival as well.

Tip #3: Your fans want to hear about your shows, about what’s going on musically for you. Start a blog. Include posts about the inspiration for a song, how a show went or anything to make your fans feel as if they’re getting to know you personally.

In an article I read the other day, people look forward to traditional promotion. The article called “5 reasons PR pros still need traditional media” explains it all. I plan to have advertising in newspapers and tackle the old-guerrilla marketing technique of posting flyers everywhere.

Tip #4: Don’t rule out traditional promotional tactics; they help with credibility.

Although this creates more work for you, smaller events will generate buzz about your main event. It takes a lot to capture people’s attention. I joined forced with the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank and their Harvest for Hunger campaign. Simple enough. Also, get ahead of the game by reading about 10 Event Trends for 2011.

Tip #5: Jump on board with already planned events. You’ll be helping them out as well as increasing awareness about your music or event.

As my energy for this festival wanes, I envision the success of the event to keep me going strong. I’m overcoming strategic planning process blues by fueling my mind with pictures of crowded venues. So don’t let me down. Join in with my promotional tools, give me some advice if you have any and, last but not least, make plans to come to the festival already!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Trace Adkins perfectly described the stereotype of country music as twang and trains and hillbilly things in his hit “Songs About Me.” The key word – stereotype. It’s no longer only about the broken hearts and scars he portrayed. But it does remain true to its defining characteristic – country music is “songs about me.”  I have always enjoyed country music, twang and all, but it’s the lyrics that draw me to the genre. They’re songs about “loving and living” and “family and God.”

Add a little glamour to the mix and recognition can be achieved. And that’s exactly what happened to the genre. It turns out that I’m not the only one attracted to country music for its relatable lyrics, but the new-found glamour has helped it gain recognition across the country. The 2010 Country Music Association Awards is proof country music is alive and well…and growing. On November 10, an average of 16 million people tuned into the awards show, and I had the opportunity to be a part of it.

The crowd at LP Field during the 2010 CMA Music Festival

Image taken by Jodee Hammond

 It was this time a year ago that my love for country music was about to be taken to another level. A friend told me about the CMA’s Award of Merit program that provides students with the opportunity to receive real-world journalism experience by reporting at its annual CMA Music Festival. No brainer…I had to apply. I just never dreamed I would be accepted. It was probably as equally exciting to me as when Taylor Swift won the CMA Horizon Award and announced it was the highlight of her senior year. One small difference – this was the highlight of my LIFE! It was my first chance to be a part of the music.

I spent four days in the 100-degree weather roaming around downtown Nashville covering my assigned locations as well as scoping out additional interesting pieces fans would potentially want to hear about. I was thrilled to be there, but it was a lot to take in. I quickly realized how difficult it was to cover an event as large as the festival. It was overwhelming!

Miranda Lambert answers questions at CMA Awards' press conference

Image taken by Jodee Hammond

Now, all of this was a competition with the winner receiving the chance to report live on the red carpet at the CMA Awards. Turns out, I did a good job reporting at the festival and won the competition, leading me to the fancy, schmancy red carpet. Super cool, right? I wrote for the blog for the CMA Awards to give fans the inside scoop. You know, the information they wouldn’t see on camera.  Whoa, it was like Hollywood; all the glitz and glam but Nashville style. I even got a little feel of stardom. Bob Doerschuk presented me with my award on the stage at the press conference, the stage that was later graced by Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Loretta Lynn, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.

Fast forward three months after my three-seconds of fame, and the new-found glamour of country music is about to come to Kent, Ohio. I’m currently planning a Rockin’ Country Music Festival to showcase the modernity of country music, to give people a feel of country’s true character, Nashville style. Country music is indeed songs about “loving and living” and “family and God,” but with a cool factor not everyone recognizes quite yet.

The Rockin’ Country Festival will hopefully enlighten a small portion of Northeast Ohio. And that’s where I come in. I’ll be right here to, again, tell you all the behind the scenes information, the cool stuff, as the festival’s plans are rolled out. Feel free to check out my blog posts from CMA in the meantime.

Rockin' Country Festival Logo

Designed by local musician Ryan Humbert

Read Full Post »