Edrian Woods currently works as an assistant to agent Lindsey Myers in the Music Touring department of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Nashville. Her primary role is serving as support in the fast-paced world of festival booking for various artists on the CAA roster. While completing her Master’s degree in Music Business and Entertainment at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Woods attended the Music Biz Convention in Nashville — which she credits for kickstarting her professional music industry career and ultimately leading to her position at CAA.
A true advocate for attending the event as a student, she has shared six reasons why students must attend:
#1 — Nashville
“I was intrigued by the chance to explore Nashville, famous for its music and music business scene.”
How did you hear about the Music Biz convention and what sparked your interest to attend?
I first heard about the Music Biz convention during one of my classes in graduate school. My professor at the time, Serona Elton, encouraged me to attend as it would be a great opportunity to connect with other music business professionals and possibly find internship or job opportunities. Upon doing more research on the convention, I was intrigued by the chance to explore Nashville, famous for its music and music business scene. I was most interested in the various educational panels, exploring everything from emerging technology in the music business, to the ways in which artist management, music touring, record labels, and other careers in the music business have changed over recent years. The speed-networking activity (speed-dating style interviews with HR representatives from various companies) offered at the conference made my decision to attend final; the chance to interview with many companies I dreamed of working with was an opportunity I could not pass up.
#2 — Invest In Yourself
“Invest in yourself and your future. There are few opportunities like this available; you owe it yourself to explore them and try to make something out of them.”
What would you say to students who are unsure of attending due to travel and registration costs?
To those students reluctant to attend Music Biz due to costs and travel, I encourage you to make an investment — invest in yourself and your future. There are few opportunities like this available; you owe it to yourself to explore them and try to make something out of them. The Music Biz convention offers students the chance to learn from and engage with big players in the music business. It also pushes you to sharpen your networking skills, as well as build your network with music business professionals from all over the world.
#3 — Getting an Internship or Job
“Because of the connection I made with a Human Resources representative at Music Biz, my application stood out, and I am now a full-time employee at CAA in Nashville. In short, I would not be in the position that I currently hold if I had not attended the Music Biz conference.”
What role did Music Biz play in your current position in the music industry? Would you be exactly where you are today without attending the convention?
I am eternally grateful for the role the Music Biz conference has played in my career. After participating in the speed-networking activity, I was able to learn more about the company I was most interested in working with — Creative Artists Agency. My interest and the connections that I made did not dissolve after the conference ended — I stayed in close contact with those that I connected with, which eventually led to an internship opportunity in Nashville. Because of the connection I made with the Human Resources representative, my application stood out, and I am now a full-time employee at CAA in Nashville. In short, I would not be in the position that I currently hold if I had not attended the Music Biz conference.
#4 — The Ultimate Networking Opportunity
“Be yourself, be professional and ask questions.”
How important is networking at the convention and do you have advice for students on how to do so?
Networking is essential to success at the Music Biz conference. I must admit, this is an area that I was (and still am) working to strengthen — some things you must learn as you go. I advise that students ask any questions they may have after panel discussions, and go to the parties and showcases at night. Be yourself, be professional and ask questions.
#5 — Endless Learning
“I left each panel I attended with at least a page full of notes and questions. I still have these notes, and plan to add to them at this year’s conference.”
What was your favorite aspect of the convention — panels, awards, parties?
My favorite aspects of the convention were the educational panels, the parties, and the showcases in the evening. I left each panel I attended with at least a page full of notes and questions. I still have these notes, and plan to add to them at this year’s conference. The parties and artist showcases were an excellent way to explore the Nashville hangouts and music venues. While out at these events, networking is a little easier as some of the pressure around doing so is relieved in a relaxed setting.
#6 — Power Players
“You will be surrounded by some of the best in the business — take full advantage of that!”
Any other tips for students attending Music Biz 2017?
My final words of wisdom for students attending Music Biz 2017 are to soak up the experience and make the most out of any opportunity that presents itself. As I said before, you will get out of the conference what you put in — it is well worth your efforts to make your investment work for you. Lastly, enjoy yourself; you will be surrounded by some of the best in the business — take full advantage of that!