Attending Folk Alliance International for the first time is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Our music conference has showcases, panels, Affinity Groups, and more. At any given moment, there are several incredible places you could be. That’s why FAI is creating a First Timer’s blog post series that shares tips and tricks to make your transition into the world of music conferences a little bit smoother. Below, you’ll find easy tips to help you make the most of your time at the conference.

Write Down Your Goals

A great way to make the most out of the conference is to write down your objectives and intentions. Why are you planning to attend Folk Alliance International? What are you hoping to get out of it? If you’re an artist, maybe you’re looking for a manager or to connect with venues and festivals for your next tour. If you’re a music presenter, you might be looking to discover new artists to feature at your venue or festival. If this is your first time attending a music conference, your goal might simply be to meet a few people in the industry. Get really clear on what you want to get out of your time at FAI, who you’d like to meet, and what your ideal outcomes are. It can be helpful to write this out on paper. Start by journaling or creating a list of your top three conference priorities.


Journaling prompts:

  • What are my goals and objectives?
  • What am I hoping to get out of my time at FAI?
  • Who am I looking to meet (Ex: artists, presenters, managers, a specific person you’d like to meet or reconnect with)? 
  • What are my top three conference priorities? 

Once you’ve written down your goals, objectives, and priorities, you should have a clearer idea of the events you’d like to attend, who you’d like to meet, and what you’d like to get out of your time at the conference.

Create a Schedule

  1. You can view our conference schedule here and take a look at the dates and times of each showcase, panel, Affinity Group, and more! This resource gives you the opportunity to sketch out your own personalized conference schedule weeks in advance. There’s always a lot happening at FAI. Having a schedule that’s in line with your priorities can help you navigate when you’re not sure what to do next. While it’s helpful to have a plan, it’s also good to leave some wiggle room. Be open to the possibility of joining friends at different events and straying from your initial plan. Remember to make time to rest. Conference FOMO (fear of missing out) is real! Know your limits, and take the time and space that you need to rest and recharge. Meeting people and attending events is important, but mental and physical health should also be prioritized. 

Put a Plan in Place

  1. Now that you’ve written out your conference goals and your personalized schedule, you have a pre-conference plan! If there is a specific person that you’d like to meet or re-connect with, it’s a good idea to reach out to them before the conference. Send them an email asking to schedule a meeting. Check out our post How to Set Up Meetings at the Conference. This year we even have designated spaces where you can schedule your meeting!

  1.  We hope this post provided some valuable information and helpful tools to make your transition into Music Conferences a little bit easier. We look forward to seeing you in May!