Issues



July, 2014 Issue

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AEP Strike Gold In Wilmington

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If you think AEP is not for you, think again. The Association of Entertainment Professionals (AEP) held their Fourth Annual Signature Conference this past June 19-21 at the historic grand Opera House in Wilmington DE and showed an increasing number of entertainment specialists not only state-of-the-art showcases, but exceptional interactive educational sessions that included legendary agent Kenny DiCamillo of William Morris Endeavor (nYC); and power buyers Laura ishum, Director of Entertainment for Pinnacle Entertainment (Las vegas); Mark Felix, buyer and Director for Drury Entertainment group (nYC) and Steve Bailey, Executive Director for The grand Opera House.

But that was just for starters. There was a technology session featuring Jon Adcock, President of PTE Productions (Orlando); greg Russell, owner of Tandem Digital Entertainment (California); and Michael Marlin, Owner of LuMA Theater (Hawaii). And finally a session on What?s Trending in Social Media with Troy Pederson, Central Casting Director for all Disney Properties (FL); Jessica goldberg, Director of Tourism, Clarksville/Montgomery County CvB (Tn); and Jim Coarse, SEO Specialist for Mobius Media (DE). So if you yearned for the days when nACA was relaxed and fun, AEP definitely gives you that experience in spades.

But even with that said, AEP is not for everyone. The organization is not interested in huge delegations from schools on holiday or students being rewarded with a trip. it is made up for serious entertainment buyers, agents and artists who make up nearly every part of the entertainment industry and it is all about learning anddoing business. it is relaxed but it is a professional conference and organization whose members like to do business with other members. if you are a director, responsible for buying entertainment or learning about entertainment and pursuing this as a field of endeavor, then this is your organization. Embrace it.

Compared to other associations and conferences, it is relatively inexpensive. There are a growing number of acts, agencies and even directors and buyers who are now involved, not only as members but serving in a capacity of volunteer leadership that will strengthen and tweak the organization to make is better and more relevant. AEP is comprised of some of the top buyers and agencies not only in the nation but in the world.

We have been most fortunate to have in our midst people like Rick Stowe from eastCoast Entertainment who has not only planned and scheduled our showcases but who has been a producer. Bob Higa has coordinated every single educational session since our inception. And Barbara Banta is our behind- the scenes producer who makes sure the sound checks and the performance schedule goes off without a hitch. After each showcase there is a Meet and greet where buyers can casually talk with artists and their agents about schedules and rates for their venues. And then a Late night Jam where all artists, agents and buyers can actually JAM in the bar and some very unlikely associations and friendships result. For 2015, check us out regularly at aepworldwide.org. if entertainment is your business, AEP is just for you.