Posts Tagged ‘Aspen Live Conference’

PAY IT FORWARD

April 23, 2016

“Pay if forward.” That’s what Paradigm’s Lynn Cingari asked us to do on Friday…for Chip. And now I’m asking you to do the same…for Chip Hooper.

I first met Chip through Dave Frey and the H.O.R.D.E. Festival in 1993. Chip was Blues Traveler and Phish’s agent, two of the acts that led the “jam band” scene of the 1990’s along with the Dave Matthews Band (also Chip’s client), Widespread Panic, moe. (Chip act), Medesky, Martin, and Wood, Big Head Todd, Hootie, Spin Doctors, etc.…and the festival’s agent as well. That meant that I started off on Chip’s team, which was always a good thing. It wasn’t fun being on the other side as Chip was a fierce competitor and always had to win.

So many friends, some of the “whose who” of the music business told similar stories about Chip. Everyone he met became his best friend, the late night calls that went on for hours, stories about his son Max’s basketball career, his “second career” as one of the top landscape photographers in the world, music, sports, wine, fancy hotels, anything Chicago, how every call ended with his trademark “you’ve got it”, anyone to be taken seriously was “the real deal”… I honestly cried for over 3-hours.

Friday was a heavy day, yet one filled with love and remembrance. After the moving speakers, and in the case of legendary New York concert promoter Ron Delsener, a hilarious and inappropriate stream of consciousness (Chip would have loved it), the first person I ran into at the reception was one of Chip’s famous clients who had obviously been deeply affected. “How badly do you want to hug your kids right now? How are we supposed to socialize after that? They should have little rooms with therapists for us”. He was right, and as the afternoon progressed, everyone acted as each other’s shrink.

We learned life lessons to pay forward Friday. We learned of the incredible sacrifices friends and family made to help Chip at the end of his journey; Jackie Nalpant (my hero), Dan Weiner, Fred Bolander, Lynn Cingari, Dr. Koontz (Chip’s Oncologist that made house calls when Chip was too weak to travel), Sam Gores and the whole Paradigm Agency (Sam was the one who arranged for Chip to travel from California to Michigan to surprise his son Max for his college basketball team’s senior day…watch here http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=14857467), and especially Chip’s daughter Val who took a semester off from Duke to take care of her Dad, THANK YOU! Not only have you helped a dear friend/family member through his toughest time, but taught us all how to be more human (crying hard again).

Friday’s reception’s theme followed another core Hooper value, sharing. Chip was giving of his time, money, loves, and passions that included food and wine. So the champagne for the toast, and wines served were from Chip’s personal cellar. The food (including Ben and Jerry’s) was some of his favorites. Chip’s incredible photographs (Lori and I have 3 hanging in our home, go to http://chiphooper.com/www/index.html) were displayed around the beautiful Sunset Center in Carmel, the perfect venue to hold a celebration of a great man’s life.

Uber lawyer Elliot Groffman started everything off by sharing a video that Chip watched all the time, sometimes on endless loop, and now I’m paying forward to you. Truly inspiring! https://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude?language=en.

Please pay it forward. Call your friends and family, hug your kids and significant other…and please go to http://www.cfmco.org/about-us/fund-list/chip-hooper-foundation/ and give what you can.

P.s. Moving forward, the Aspen Live Conference will make a donation each December to The Chip Hooper Foundation as well as creating an annual award (the only one we will give each year) to honor those that follow Chip’s messages of passion, art, music, family and sharing.

 

 

 

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SETH GODIN’S POST

February 1, 2016

Writing without anything to say is hard. Even with all the information that came out of the Aspen Live Music Conference’s 20th Anniversary in December, I still haven’t had the drive to tell you. Then today one of my marketing heroes, Seth Godin wrote his blog below (thanks Seth)…using the music business to make his point, and even mentions one of our amazing guest speakers from Aspen, Scott Borchetta (thank you Scott)…so knew I had to share it with you. Just wished I had written it.

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Living with your frustum

David Bowie left behind an estate worth about $100 million.

And there were perhaps five hundred musicians of his generation who were at least as successful. From Brown to Dylan to Buffet to Ross, there were thirty years of big hit makers.

That’s the top of the pyramid. Lots of people tried to make it in the music business, and there were many thousands at the top, hitting a jackpot.

In geometry, a pyramid without a top is called a frustum. Just a base, no jackpot.

The music industry is now a classic example…

The bottom is wider than ever, because you don’t need a recording studio to make a record. And you don’t need a record store to sell one. More musicians making more music than ever before.

And the top is narrower than ever. Fewer hitmakers creating fewer long-term careers. Radio is less important, shelf space is less important, and so the demand for the next big hit from the next reliable hitmaker is diminished. Without Scott Borchetta or someone similar leading you to the few sinecures left, it’s almost certain that you’ll be without a jackpot.

A similar thing happened to the book business, of course. The big bookstores needed a Stephen King, a Jackie Collins and a Joyce Carol Oates, because they benefitted from having something both reliable and new to put on the shelf. Printing a lot of copies and using a lot of shelf space is a gamble, best to bet on the previous winners. The ebook world doesn’t care as much.

The long tail, easy entry, wide distribution model does this to many industries. It’s easier than ever to be a real estate broker or to run a tiny dog shelter–easier, but harder to get through the Dip.

While the winner-take-all natural monopolies get the headlines and the IPOs, it’s not surprising that many industries are frustrating frustums.

The frustration, though, doesn’t come from the lack of a top to the pyramid. It comes from acting as if the peak is the point of the entire exercise. For more on this, check out Derek Siver’s honest and generous book.

The good news is that it’s entirely possibly you don’t need the peak of the pyramid. The leverage that comes from digital tools means that it’s entirely possible to do just fine (and have a powerful, positive life) without being David Bowie. Once you know that this is it, perhaps this might be enough.

Enough to make a difference and enough to make a life.

The way music used to be. And is again.

 

SHARING IDEAS

March 29, 2015

Aspen Live, like Allen & Company’s Sun Valley Conference and TED Talks, is about sharing ideas, and we plan to do a lot more of that here (in our newsletter, http://www.liveworksnews.com as well as http://www.aspenlive.com).

In December you will be able to catch highlights from Aspen Live’s 20th Anniversary party.  Till then, we will share information from time-to-time that is worth spreading.  The first is a TED Talk from Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy on body language.  Watch it here http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.

Here is a brief explanation from the TED.com site: Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Want to share an idea or submit a guest post?  Please send any and all ideas to jim@liveworksevents.com.

You can and should register for the Aspen Live Conference here: http://www.aspenlive.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 3 “PRESALE” LESSONS FROM ASPEN LIVE 2015

March 18, 2015

For the 20th Anniversary of the Aspen Live Conference (Dec 10-13, 2015), it was important to reward our alumni with a presale.  In today’s live entertainment landscape, and in music specifically, presales have gotten completely out of hand, confusing the public and burying our message.

This year’s Aspen presale has been our biggest on-sale in twenty years! Here are three lessons we’ve learned from our presale:

1.   Reward Your Best Customers – For Aspen Live’s 2015 registration kickoff, we opened the gates with an offer to our alumni with special pricing.  Only past guests were notified.  Your goal (like ours) should be servicing your alpha fan, not creating hype or even demand.  That can be a byproduct but not in your sites just yet.  You are there to say “Thank You!” We did, and it worked.

2.   One Presale, No More – Aspen is running one presale with an expiration date, which gives our alumni enough time to react, but not so much time that they procrastinate (REMINDER to Aspen Alums, Friday is your last day to save at http://www.aspenlive.com).  Offering multiple presales makes it feel like no one wins… and have you heard our (live music business) radio spots lately?  “American Express customers blah, blah, blah, with an on-sale to the general public on blah, blah, blah (spoken so fast, you can’t hear the dates).  Use your Citi Visa or MasterCard and get a Sherpa to carry you and your friends to your heated seats where a cold Pepsi, the choice of a new generation, will be waiting for you…part of the Bud Light Concert Series, Ford Trucks, and Jiffy Lube.Holy sheep shit!

3.   Make Your Value Proposition Compelling – Not only were Aspen community members given $100-off registration, guests also had first choice on hotel room categories with significant discounts for those who got in first.  It was a simple process that worked far better than we could have imagined.  The first 20 rooms were sold at $175 per night…that’s right, IN ASPEN. The second 20 were $185, then $200, and now $280.  If you acted quickly enough, you saved over $100 per night…and another $100 (minimum) on registration.  What can you “bundle” for your guests so they feel they lose if they don’t act?

If the three easy steps listed above can work for a music conference, it will work for you. Just make sure you plan as far in advance as you can (within reason).

 

 

BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS THAT WORK

May 4, 2014

The best way to show you what you can accomplish at the Aspen Live Conference in December (11-14) is to share the note below I received over the weekend from Felice Mancini, CEO of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. http://www.mhopus.org

Hi Jim – thought you’d like to know that as a result of meeting the StubHub folks in Aspen in Dec., this was a result after some follow-up and starting a relationship. In addition to the concert proceeds, we also got a $250K grant from StubHub Foundation. I hope all is well. http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/05/stubhub-to-promote-emerging-artist-concerts.html Thank you Felice!!!

Added to above, we are excited to announce our first program slotted for December, a very special Q&A with the Co-founder of Q Prime Management (Metallica, Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Muse, Cage the Elephant, Eric Church, Silversun Pickups, etc.) the one-and-only Peter Mensch. Have you ever even seen Peter at a conference before? Now you can be face-to-face in the intimate surroundings of Aspen (special thanks to Marc Reiter)

Today (Sunday, May 4), is your last chance to save $100 on registration for Aspen Live, 2014. Go to http://www.aspenlive.com and save both on your registration and hotel room. If you’ve never attended, reach-out to a few friends who have. They will tell you what I’m telling you now; register your business will thank you for it.

As always, thanks to those that make Aspen Live possible, Bill Young Productions, Goldstar Events, StubHub, TicketFly, the Voice Media Group, and you!

FREE MARKETING EBOOK

March 28, 2014

If you haven’t subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog, you really should.  Below Seth shares a free ebook with some amazing stuff inside.  A must read! Remember we are all marketers.

Speaking of marketing, are you in LA Monday, March 31?  If yes, please join the Aspen Live Conference family @ 8pm at The 3rd Stop…8636 W 3rd Street, LA 90048 for drinks and fun.  Besides continuing to strengthen our network (or Tribe as Seth would say), our goal for this family reunion is to make sure Dan Steinberg and Jason Zink don’t pay for one drink!  They always pay.

AND

Speaking of Aspen Live, Super Early Registration opens Tuesday, April 1st for the 19th Annual Aspen Live Conference…and only lasts for one-month.  You will save a bunch of money for registering early.  Don’t miss “Sun Valley for the Music Business” another year.  There is a reason the Aspen family does business together.

Thinking about placebos (a new ebooklet)

After months of working on this project, I confess to being amazed at how little we talk about, think about or use placebos.

Here’s a 25-page ebook to get the conversation started. I think you’ll find some pretty surprising research and analysis inside…

Feel free to share, or repost, or print it out:

Download the Placebo booklet

I wrote it as part of the curriculum of the Skillshare marketing course I’m teaching right now.

Based on what I’m learning about the power of commitment, we decided to double the price of that course at the end of April. The other course, on new business invention, also doubles.

Thanks for reading, share if it makes you think…

LESSONS FROM AMAZON

January 13, 2014

“We don’t make money when we sell things, we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions.”  That’s a quote credited to Jeff Bezos from the book The Everything Store as well as the presentation Ticketfly’s new Director of Marketing, Kristina Wallender gave at the Aspen Live Conference in December.

Kristina’s talk was titled “4 Things The Music Business Can Learn from Amazon”.  The two points I took away were 1) Obsess Over Customers and 2) Test and Measure.  We can all do a lot more of both.

At the beginning of Kristina’s talk, she asked for a show of hands of attendees who had used Amazon in the past year…almost the entire room raised their hands.  Kristina followed with, “now keep your hands up if you were wowed (not sure of her exact words) by their service”…and nearly everyone kept their hands up.

We all know ways to obsess over our customers, but we don’t…so others do.  Everyone screams about not getting a cut of ‘scalper’s’, “broker’s”, “agency’s”, and secondary market’s lift on tickets instead of asking how we can emulate them.  Talk with your friends with money outside our business and you will find most would rather use their “guys” who know what events they would like, seat locations, parking and VIP packages they prefer, and even hotels they may like instead of going to the primary market where they have no direction and can’t get what they want even if they knew what they wanted.

One thing Kristina challenged those in the room to “test and measure” that got everyone’s blood pressure rising was refundable tickets.  Ask yourself the same question.  Do you believe a refundable ticket would have a positive or negative effect on overall sales of a show?  Whether your answer is yes or no, would you be willing to test and measure results?  Take half the house…or even a much smaller percentage and offer them as refundable tickets.  Kind of like purchasing travel insurance or Ticketmaster’s new product for live entertainment…but the guest doesn’t have to pay.  Take the price out…or offer it as an option.  The airlines (not always the business model you want to follow but roll with me) sell refundable tickets at a higher price.  Try it all.  See what works.

Do you test and measure your marketing efforts?  The joke in our business is “half of our advertising works, we just aren’t sure which half”.  Well that can, must and will change or you will be looking for a new gig.  You should be maximizing ROI, and with “big data”, testing and measuring the results has never been easier.

A few other things you may want to ask Kristina, yourself, team, friends, industry peeps, artists, and most importantly your guests… 1) How can we use in-store, or in our case in-venue messaging to serve the fan better and thus sell more stuff?  2) What are the best ways to target messaging and distribution?  3) How do you include customers and potential customers in the process (poster contests, street teams, online videos, volunteers to collect/ capture guest data etc.)? 4) How would you setup an “Amazon Prime” for live entertainment where members actually pay more for services?

On a personal note, it would not be right to closeout 2013 without mentioning how our friends Sue Mclean and Milt Olin touched our lives.  I know I speak for many of you when I say these two were both great people taken much too young.