While I was sitting at the NARM Convention last week I tweeted that I needed to do a SF Musictech Summit vs. NARM Convention article. This was my second Musictech and my first NARM. I immediately got a number of replies from people who would be interested to know what I thought. Read on…
In the same week I attended both the SF Musictech Summit and the NARM Convention. The first being a young convention, new school and the later being a long standing industry convention, old school. How do they differ? Let me also state I attended NARM on the last day of the event, the panel I was speaking on was mid-afternoon. To be fair I feel that each convention caters to different clients. SF Musictech is very focused on developing and emerging technologies and startups, the future of the music business. NARM is focused on industry retailers, distributors, managers and the like. The first and most apparent difference to me was the energy. SF Musictech was just a buzz. You could literally see and feel the energy and excitement in the hotel. NARM, not so much. NARM felt very laid back. Actually by mid-afternoon the thought “ghosttown” crossed my mind a couple times. SF Musictech was often shoulder to shoulder, standing room only and sitting on the floors at seminars. Right to the very last seminar. NARM again just laid back. Maybe the other days were different, but the last day was not. The hashtag feed on Twitter for SF Musictech was fast and furious with updates, quotes, tips, advice and more, it was even a trending topic on Twitter during the day. NARM, not so much. Again, just laid back. As an example I counted 7 tweets in 30 minutes on the NARM hashtag. The couple seminars I attended at NARM that afternoon were poorly attended. Again, maybe because it was the last day and people had already left. NARM also doesn’t seem to cater to the indie/DIY artist, which lets be honest is the future. Actually before the panel I was on got started we asked how many were artists… none. None were labels, one was a digital retailer, the rest were “others”. The topic of the panel was social commerce, how to make money selling inside Facebook. It is definitely a hot topic this year, with many companies emerging in this space.
If you would like to read another review of Musictech vs NARM, check out Moses Avalon’s article.
I think NARM’s Digital Think Tank is a exciting group, and though I did not attend I did talk with someone who said it was well attended. Maybe NARM needs to expand the Digital Think Tank?
I don’t want this to sound like I am slamming NARM, not at all. I just think it is a clearly different convention, with a different focus and a different energy. I think if you are a emerging artist, company or looking how to do it yourself the clear choice right now is to attend SF Musictech.