Last week, I attended my first entrepreneur conference in Nashville called Pandoland 2015 and got to hear fabulous speakers including Andy Sparks of Mattermark, Marc Ruxin of TastemakerX, Bijan Sabet, General Partner at Spark Capital, James Freeman, Founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox and many others. It was great to be in a room for several days with such movers and shakers, people who have ventured into the unknown, learned many lessons and have come out on the other side as stronger beings. It made me realize there are people in the world who are working hard for something they believe in and not just following the status quo whatever that may be. I think the human spirit loves to know there are still people willing to hurt for something and to work super hard to strive for it. In true entrepreneur fashion, the audience got to witness 10 startups present over the course of 2 days time and the winner, an innovative clothing company called Umano, started by two brothers and based out of Georgia, received a grand prize to help fund more of their endeavors in the world of many clamoring entrepreneurs. Congrats guys!!
One of the greatest talks for me personally was by Ryan Leslie, Musician and Entrepreneur. I love that he has created a way to interact with his fans directly and has not just dumped all of his marketing faith into various platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I appreciate someone who is willing to interact directly with his fans and actually gives his email and his number out at conferences for people to contact him. Might it get out of hand in the future, sure. But I think there is something about him that makes you relate to his bootstrap effort to get out in the music industry and think of it in terms of business rather than in terms of fame. He is really working hard to marry his skills with his business savvy to see some career longevity in a difficult industry.
Overall, the conference was wonderfully organized, and Sarah Lacy is absolutely the best host of Pandoland. I absorbed so much useful information, and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to attend and learn. Check out their site here for helpful articles and more information! Did any of you attend this great conference or are there other entrepreneur/music conferences you recommend for independent artists?? Feel free to share in the comment form below!