Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick Tips to Get the Most Out of CRS from A&O&B and Lori Lewis

New to CRS this year? Perhaps you haven't been often or been in a while? How about a few tips to get the most out of your visit?

That was the question that CT Weekly put to a few of us.  Here's how Jaye, Jacobs Media's Lori Lewis (Lori also works with A&O&B stations) and I responded.

Jaye Albright:

Be sure your mobile phone's batteries are fully charged and prepare to grab audio and video with artists you run into and at their shows. Tweet and Instagram the photos and short video. Make all of that available each day on your station blog and Facebook, etc  too.  

Buy all of the sessions (it's not that much more expensive if you buy the whole package).  That way you can make networking your #1 priority.  You can listen to the sessions later when you get home, but you may NEVER see label execs or major artists so close up ever again.  Build relationships and preplan who you need to see - ie your regional reps for every label - and make sure you do that.

Don't skip all sessions and just go to the entertainment.  Yes, it is possible to go 24/7 at CRS and have a great time getting really drunk, but the sessions attract the people you really want to get to know if you hope to grow your career.  

Prepare a GREAT question to ask in every session you attend and ASK it.  One, you'll learn a lot from the answers, but maybe even more importantly, there will be people you don't even know you need to know in the session too who say to themselves "wow, that was a good question.  who was that?"
Relax and have a great time.  There is no WRONG way to do CRS!

Lori Lewis:

Carry your phone charger with you, everywhere.

Showcase Country radio, the music and CRS by using the event’s official hashtag, #CRS2014, with every piece of social communication on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Follow the #CRS2014 stream on Twitter. This is opportunity to meet other CRS attendees and discover nuggets of knowledge you may have missed out on.

Retweet others using #CRS2014 when appropriate. This is opportunity to raise the profile of country radio to those not attending.

Be positive socially. There’s enough anger and trolls online – let’s have a higher standard for our community.

Mike O'Malley:

Identify the sessions you feel will help you grow the most/learn the most and make those a priority. There are lots of great sessions, but 'coming back smarter' should be your number one goal.

Plan on buying audio from sessions that are going on concurrently with those on your list. Also you can share notes with someone you know that is attending a conflicting session. 

See as many new acts as you can. You'll be ahead of your competitors who didn't attend.

Target new friends and mentors. Make a list of people you would like to learn from/share knowledge with and introduce yourself. Putting yourself in the midst of smart people will pay dividends now and down the road. 

Share what you've learned with others. We'll all be better as a result.

You can read CT's other tips here. And of course feel free to share your own suggestions by leaving a comment below.

PS: At the risk of a little self-promotion, we hope you'll be able to join us for our 20th annual Pre-CRS Seminar, Tuesday afternoon from 12:30-4:30 at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Ford Theater. We'll have presentations on hosting and making money with your own music festival, the art of negotiating, Lori Lewis with social media advice for country, a conversation with the great Gerry House and a performance from Republic Nashville's Eli Young Band. Plus we'll reveal top line data from A&O&B's online perceptual Roadmap 2014. It's free and open to clients as well as those in markets that don't compete with A&O&B but you'll need to RSVP: Just let Becky Brenner know. 

And you can still register for CRS here.

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