Monday, October 10, 2011

5 Tips for Networking at the Next A3C Festival

On Thursday, October 6th, I attended the first day of the A3C Festival. I had initially planned on attending on Friday night to see Big K.R.I.T perform “Dreamin” and “The Vent”, and to see the rest of the stage. However Thursday was the only day I could go, so I decided to just go and scope out the scene. There was a variety of different stages of emerging and indie hip-hop artists performing, while golden era hip-hop blasted in the background. There were also tons of upcoming hip-hop artists walking around scoping the scene just as I was, many of them walking around aimlessly with backpacks full of their mixtapes and other promo materials. This was my first year attending A3C and I observed that A3C is definitely a staple for underground hip-hop and a cool platform for hip-hop artists to be seen and heard if they’re prepared. So in anticipation of the 2012 A3C Festival, here are 5 tips for networking at next year's event.
1.) Identify Who You Would  Like to Connect With: You don’t have to pass your mixtape and/or single to anyone who’ll take it. Instead take a more strategic approach. For instance, there were tons of hip-hop media in attendance at A3C. If there’s a particular writer/blogger(s) you’d like to connect with, find out if they’ll be at A3C and send a brief introductory email. It can be a simple intro such as “Hi, My name is Kayla and I’m a Pittsburgh based hip-hop artist and longtime reader of your site. I’m reaching out because I’d like to connect with you at A3C”
2.)  Offer praise initially, but only if it’s genuine: If you’re a fan of Let them know. Always avoid asking for help the first time you meet someone. Remember that all great relationships are reciprocal.
3.) Take care of your current network: If you already have an existing relationship with a hip-hop writer/blogger(s). Find out if they’re attending A3C, so you can meet them face-to-face and personally thank them for their support.
4.)  Don’t dismiss anyone as irrelevant: Treat everyone the same, with kindness and respect. You never know who you’re speaking with.
5.)  Follow-up: Immediately after meeting a new contact follow-up via email. Do not wait any longer than (2) days. This gives you a chance to further develop the relationship. Following-up regarding your previous conversation with the new contact helps them remember you better and they’ll be more receptive to you and any future emails you may send them.

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