Submitted by Peter Åstedt
Soon we can put all the online events in the past. I just decided that after the New Year, if I am to be at an online event, then it has to be very special for me. Even the worst in real-life events are better than the online versions.
I was just invited to another online conference. The problem now is that so many companies are doing these that it is making it so hard to reach info and sometimes it just becomes annoying. Just a simple thing to find the login page was a twenty-minute waste of time. When I went to the organizer’s homepage there was no log-in for the conference part. Of course, they were streaming fifty bands that I have no interest in whatsoever to watch a show online at this point. I’m barely watching shows with my favorite bands because the shows are not interesting enough to see on a screen. They are made to be seen live and in person. To see an unknown artist with totally new songs in an environment where you can’t get any interaction with an audience, sorry but it doesn’t work for me.
The page was full of info on how to see this, but like I said I was more interested in networking but a login to anything was hard to find. In the end, I realized that in the e-ticket that was sent there was a link that took me to the page of the ticket provider. In there I found a link to another conference organizer. Several other conferences have used that organizer, so I got in there. On that page I found that I could switch between six different events, one was the one I searched for. All in all, a tedious amount of work just to find the information I needed.
Suddenly my contacts were in the same box and came from six different events and you could just see on the activity that most of them had just created an account and then left. The second problem is that it was almost the same people for all six events. This problem is all over online conferences. A couple of weeks ago, I was on one of these and some of the artists that frequent them are these are now so familiar with me that they know my dogs names and asked how they are. It’s great to make friends but already from the beginning, I have checked out their music and it was nothing I could work with.
Then I went to an in ‘real life’ event last week. It was miserable no one showed up as they had created big mistake by sending out the invitations just digitally. Still, fifteen people showed up and several bands were playing. Still, I did more business and got more new ideas and connections out of that than all the digital events I have done since July.
You can also see that many of the more important people have left the online scene. In the beginning, you saw some of the people that are established are harder to access coming out on these events. Now you see most of the same faces and that includes mine. I wanted it to work but the online events haven’t developed as well as we all hoped. Instead of being user-friendly, they have been focusing on adding complicated technology and buttons that make everything much harder to have a conversation. In the end, no business is done.
So starting in 2022, the event has to be something special and contain something that I know I can do business with directly if I am going to commit to being on an online event. I guess I’m gonna be harder to access online overall. I will put my faith in the real meetings.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.