The Event and Arena Marketing Conference (EAMC) is an annual conference for live entertainment industry professionals spanning 3-4 days. This year’s conference was hosted by the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The conference covers the areas of marketing, publicity, promotions, group sales, live touring shows and arenas.
With approximately 300 attendees per year, the conference offers a vast array of perspectives from industry pros to those just breaking into live entertainment.
Being the Frank Erwin Center’s first intern to be accepted and participate as an EAMC planning intern, I didn’t know what to expect from this conference. Even though I had heard many things about the crowd, the events, the insights and more, what I learned was whether it’s your first time at the conference or you’re a long-time attendee, EAMC offers valuable learning, as well as fun and exciting opportunities to meet other professionals. EAMC as a whole is such a jam-packed, exciting experience, but if I had to sum up the conference I’d say it cycles through the following phases: Work, Learn, Party, Repeat.
As part of my internship role with EAMC, I began my day by helping with setup of tables and booths, as well as checking in guests at registration and explaining raffle contests. This is a great initial opportunity to meet some of the industry professionals you’ll be able to interact with during your time at EAMC.
In addition to assisting with registration, the interns take notes during general sessions and round table discussions, ensuring that EAMC attendees can reference the information easily after the conference. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how industry professionals problem-solve in various aspects of their respective positions.
Working and learning go hand-in hand-during EAMC with so many professionals with unique perspectives and insights to share. During this year’s keynote presentation, Jody Bennett, VP of Marketing and Strategic Partners at Andretti Autosport, explained various aspects of branding, including how to make your personal brand consistent with your professional brand. This really stood out to me. Jody discussed the importance of authenticity in your personal brand and how that message is received by others.
Alongside general sessions from speakers, there are also round table discussions on specific topics and panel discussions on various industry functions. All of the speaker sessions and discussions offer valuable lessons, and serve to connect professionals who have to work together from different ends of live entertainment to make shows and events possible. If I found anything to be true from hearing various stories, it was that there is a significant deal of truth to the phrase: “It takes a village!” The hard work of so many creative and brilliant minds makes live entertainment possible.
Party:Just as one might assume of the professionals who organize this exciting conference, these folks definitely know how to put on a great live event- which naturally incudes nightly parties! Happenings this year included a welcome party with a massive ice sculpture, a block party with a wrestling match and street tacos and a closing party in the incredible BOK center’s main entrance space. After early mornings working to welcome attendees and taking notes for the sessions, these nightly events are the cherry on top of an action-packed day.
Not only did these events offer fabulous food and drink accompanied by a great music selection, but attendees are offered the chance to talk one-on-one with each other and mingle. This is an especially great networking opportunity for interns. You’re bound to encounter some unforgettable stories and experiences.
Overall the conference is non-stop and extremely action-packed. As an EAMC intern, I was constantly on my feet learning, observing, laughing and soaking in valuable knowledge on future career steps. A large number of the professionals I met during my time at the conference this year were friendly, helpful and always willing to answer questions and offer tips for new members of the live entertainment professional community. EAMC serves as a fantastic learning experience and opportunity to get connected with the individuals who make the live entertainment industry the success that it is.
Special thanks to EAMC and the Frank Erwin Center for such an amazing opportunity and fantastic learning experience! Check out EAMC 2018 next year in VEGAS!
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