RPMDA, Where Stealing is Encouraged

Kevin Cranleyby Kevin Cranley

That sounds like a pretty outrageous thing to hear from an association that vigorously promotes copyrights and their protection.  Obviously I’m not talking intellectual property here.  What I mean is the sharing of ideas and the open discussions about how to keep our sector of this industry strong and vibrant.

I remember 25 years ago when I attended my first RPMDA in Las Vegas. As soon as I arrived, it was Nina Rockley who welcomed me to this unique and friendly group.  For those of you who have never attended or have not attended recently, I want to share with you why this convention is like nothing else I’ve experienced in this industry.

Education and sharing is what we are about.  Other than a couple of outside speakers who are always outstanding, our sessions are run by members.  Each topic and presenter is carefully chosen so that we can highlight the people and companies that are doing aspects of their business to the highest degree.  In addition, we have open forum sessions which I have always been involved with.  One in particular, we started 16 years ago at the convention in Denver.  It’s called “Best Ideas” where over twenty members volunteer and pay $10 each to stand up and share an idea that they think will be the “Best Idea” winning them some extra spending money.  Sure, it’s great to win but the audience members are the big winners, too, because they hear great ideas that can be implemented as soon as they return to the office.  Sure, it’s a lot of fun, but I can’t tell you how many great ideas I’ve taken back to the office with me.

Another session that has great benefit to everyone in attendance is called “Great Minds of RPMDA”.  It’s unique to anything I’ve experienced.  We break up into working tables of about 6-8 people and tackle some of the issues and opportunities facing the print music industry.  Sessions like these illustrate how everyone from industry rookies to veterans, and publishers to retailers, have an equal and valuable voice at RPMDA.

So if you’re on the fence about attending the convention this year, let me leave you with one last thought.  If you want to learn, share and excel in the print music business, there is no better place than RPMDA.  Come and join us for RPMDA’s 40th anniversary in St. Louis.

Keep learning, keep growing, keep thriving.

The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.  Newton D. Baker