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Let's face it. Most College conferences are the same old, same old. AEP is different. You get to rub shoulders with many legendary entertainment producers responsible for making artist HOT! Plus the bigger producers of talent at AEP are well aware of the the transition from College to a job in a bigger agency and they are looking for students that have skills learned from their experiences booking and producing shows in the college market.These producers are more apt to look for potential employees at a conference like this one where they can interact with activities board members and see what you are doing and what you are booking.
But more than anything else, as a buyer you will see more innovative acts than you will find at a strictly college conference and agents are actively looking to fill in more productive dates with college dates that are close-by. So you have the chance to book a really cool act and at a great price.
Because the association feels that campus buyers are the next generation of entertainment producers, the rate for which campuses can send delegates is at about HALF the going member rate and no membership is required to "come kick the tires".
So what makes AEP different for NACA or APCA ? Where else can you hang out with producers who are responsible for millions of dollars of entertainment worldwide? Certainly not at the aforementioned conferences. Plus AEP does not drag out the conference to be able to charge you more. It doesn't last a week or ten days but you are in and out in only 2 1/2 days. Real Entertainment people are busy, so we have learned to respect their time because it is very valuable. Your conference registration- even at a drastically reduced rate, includes all meals, the ed sessions with true entertainment professionals and they are interactive, so you can ask questions and expect responses. These sessions deal with how to program to millennials, what to do when you get a rider that looks like a book, how to tag on to other touring shows, what you can probably scratch and lower your costs, plus at any time you can request a information about a show, talent or backline with that request to be distributed to the AEP membership and almost every time, someone is going to have a real good option for what you need. That what makes the AEP membership totally valuable.
I may have put in my time with NACA (11 years), but this is not NACA, but working with the big boys. You can talk with other agents and buyers about your needs and almost every time they will give you a clue to how , from their experience, to deal with your situation.
Believe it or not, Big Producers from every sector of the entertainment industry are open to working with college buyers because the college market is a breeding ground for big buyers and producers and your best chance of being offered an internship that will result in a high paying job.
So what is another benefit? You get to see and experience acts you will never see at a college conference. Acts Like Savannah Jack, Kevin Viner, The Boy Band Night, Jackie Boyz and December'63 showcased last year and were truly stellar.
But AEP is quickly attracting colleges and college agents and acts. John Cassidy from Sophie K ended up with a Disney contract the first time he showcased. And Disney is a great reference no matter what. Wacky Chad from GP Entertainment had a great showcase last year and in 2015, Rob Jockel with Cutting Edge ended up with the Fastest Rising Star, Lindsay Benner. This past year Kate Magill won the Fastest Rising Stars with Marcus & Guy and the benefit of that honor is connecting with some major producers for tutoring and a free showcase in 2018.
While there is an exhibit area in the Educational Session Room, most real contacts are generated by a free Meet & Greet in the showcase room right after each showcase while the experience is still fresh in the mind of the buyer.
And if you want to talk about food, The catering at this event is top notch, there is no reason for you to go hungry. Complimentary drink tickets are offered to those over 21, but for students with a under 21 wrist band, you can sample any soft drink.
There is a Late Night Jam the last day after the final showcase and anyone can get on stage and perform: artist, agent, student or director. The Late Nite Jam has been managed by Lee Mayer with Houla Entertainment.
When students sign up for the conference, you will have to have ID to determine your birth date. This will generate the type of wristband you will be assigned. This will help deter accidental alcohol use and your advisor will be notified which students get which wristbands.
Your safety is important to the AEP staff and board. Conference Dates for 2018 will be announced this summer and we are offering the best discounts ever for you to get involved with a professional organization that will offer you the best entertainment choices for the money you have to invest. You will also meet some of the best agents and buyers in the industry and a relationship with them will help you not only with your campus activities board but give you options after graduation to become part of an industry that is growing rapidly all over the world.
Give it a try, I think you will spend the best two days of your college career interacting with top-notch acts. impressive agents and an amazing staff that will make up AEP. The 2018 conference will mark our SEVENTH YEAR and the board is meeting in the summer of 2017 to fine tune AEP so it will meet the needs of any buyer. They will announce the time,date and location soon but they are anxious to get more colleges involved and have made it reasonable for you (and your advisor) to attend. Finally you will have the chance to speak up with many legendary producers and buyers and learn from a distinct group that has made the entertainment industry their home. All buyers, acts and agents from ANY source are welcomed to attend the summer meeting that will and attending will be at no fee to the individuals participating and the location be announced soon.