What We Learnt From Day Two at EMC Sydney 2016

After attending EMC Sydney 2016 for the completion of Day One, it was clear that the Electronic Music Conference was more about the music. It was more for those wanting to get in the business or who already are and wanting to learn more about managing their brands, artists, labels and audiences. Day One left us energised and wanting to go straight home to start working. As for Day Two? Read on to find out our thoughts.

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After an inspiring Day One that featured highlights like a keynote from Amsterdam’s Night Mayor Mirik Milan, the Electronic Music Conference continued yesterday at Sydney’s ivy complex.

Unfortunately Day Two of “EMC Sydney 2016” disappointed us a little bit – only in the sense that the panel discussions didn’t delve deeper into the topics at hand and seemed to be weary about the time constraints of each session so as not to start the next one too late, so almost every session we attended was suddenly cut short and went straight to questions from the audience. :/ Nonetheless, we were there with our pen and notebook jotting down as much as we could!

PANEL DISCUSSION ~ HOW TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE ONLINE

It’s always a tough thing to try to share your music/art with global audiences. Trust us, we should know. The EMC hosted a panel discussion with Dani Marsland (Pilerats), Jordan Smith (Pulse Australia), Marcus Thaine (Spotify), producer Motez, Stephen Goodhew (FBi Radio), and Sweetie Zamora (Remote Control Records) on how innovative use of digital platforms is the key to connecting Australian artists with audiences locally and overseas.

  • Engagement on social media is rather different to the engagement experienced in real life.
  • The number of likes on social media says something but it doesn’t say enough. Remember that the presence can be bought on Facebook and Instagram. Namely: don’t believe everything at face value.
  • “A well put-together campaign can create lots of influence.” – Jordan Smith
  • “You can orchestrate and hope that your content goes viral, but it’s best to have people in those markets to help you.” – Sweetie Zamora
  • “If the product is not good, then what’s the point?” – Motez
  • “Authenticity is everything!” – Dani Marsland
  • “Your image should be aligned and it should represent who you are. Sometimes you’re not the image you portray [online].” – Motez
  • “If there’s a story, people will want to write/read about it.” – Jordan Smith

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PANEL DISCUSSION ~ THE ART OF RAVE: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ART AND MUSIC 

When running any sort of music related business, be it a record label, a party, or even a touring agency, it can be easy to find yourself focusing entirely on the music and neglecting many of the other equally important elements that make up your brand’s identity. With a panel featuring Nina Las Vegas (NLV Records), Jimmy Edgar (ULTRAMAJIC), Patrick Santamaria (Motorik), Elliot Shields (Pelvis) and Jay Ryves (Future Classic), they all made it clear that there is no single specific way to create the visual aesthetic of your brand.

What is important is that is that you do it. A strong visual aesthetic helps cement your identity.

“And if the design of your logo works, just stick to it. Don’t go and start thinking that you need to change it. Listen to your gut” – Nina Las Vegas


PANEL DISCUSSION ~ EVOLVING YOUR BRAND

Success in this business often means growing, expanding or sometimes completely rethinking everything you’ve created. The thought has passed our minds more than once. A panel discussion with Angus McDonald (Whack Recordings), Ant Celestino (ONELOVE Music Group), Nick HP (Majestic Casual), Scott Robertson (Division Agency), and Wade Cawood (Pulse Global) explored the process of knowing your audience, and when/how to adapt to change within some of the most loved music properties, parties and labels.

This panel was one of the panels where we wished there was no time limit. We wanted to hear more from Scott Robertson. His years of being in the business and the amount of knowledge that he clearly had was begging to be delved deeper into with more questions from the moderator but as mentioned previously, the time did not allow us to find out more. And because things were running on a such strict time schedule for Day Two, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place where we wanted to go and talk to him after the session, but also did not want to miss out on anything from the next session. Bummer.

  • “Engaging and connecting with your audience is really important. Create an experience for [your audience]. They may know what they want, but they don’t know what they need.” – Nick HP
  • “Stand true to what you believe in!” – Scott Robertson
  • We are in the age of disruption. Audiences are fragmented.
  • “To have longevity in this business, you need to stick to who you are and what you represent.” – Angus McDonald
  • “Analyse what’s working for you. Figure out the context of your failures. What makes you happy?” – Ant Celestino
  • “‘No’ is the most powerful tool. Saying ‘No’ to things will give you massive longevity.” – Ant Celestino
  • “Say ‘Fuck No’ as much as you say ‘Fuck Yes’.” – Ant Celestino

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PANEL DISCUSSION ~ USING YOUR INFLUENCE 

In this day and age of disruption where audiences are fragmented, social influence is very valuable currency. Increasingly, brands are looking to artists as a means of connecting their product with fans online. EMC brought together a panel of artists, managers and agency reps including Danny Clayton, DJ/producer Generik, Jesse Flavell (Sum Management), Laura Byrne (Made in Katana) and Roddy Campbell (Universal Music Australia) to navigate the meaning of being a ‘social influencer’ in 2016. Refer to the quotes below that stood out the most to us:

  • “It’s hard to judge when that influence will kick in.” – Jesse Flavell
  • “There is a bubble and it’s bursting.” – Laura Byrne
  • “What you post should represent who you are. BE REAL!” – Generik
  • “Grow your audience. Know your audience. Find your niche.” – Danny Clayton
  • What is the future looking like? “Co-creation.” – Roddy Campbell