Luis Galeana, President of Berklee’s Latin American Music Business Association (LAMBA) reports from the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference in Miami.
On February 24th of 2012 I received a letter from Andrea Martin, Event Marketing for Billboard Magazine, inviting me and other peers to attend to the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference & Awards in Miami, FL. She and Leila Cobo (Director of Latin Content & Programing for Billboard) gave us a discount on the ticket prices as well as a free exhibit table at their exhibition area. This was the perfect opportunity to not just get important connections and insight of the music business but also to promote the Berklee Valencia Masters Programs and the Latin Studies Minor.
Students Brianna Perez, Paloma Torres, Francisco Ruíz, Victor Murillo and I, Luis Galeana were able to attend thanks to the following faculty members and staff members:
Peter Alhadeff (Music Business Department), Jane Stachowiak (LiveWell Office),
Tom Riley (External Affairs), Sophie Maricq (Berklee Valencia), Oscar Stagnaro (Bass Faculty), Karen Bell (Alumni Affairs), Joshua Crary & Brenda Bailey (Office Of Cultural Diversity & Inclusion), Roya Hu (Faculty Development) and Larry Bethune (Dean of Students).
At this conference, we had the chance to learn from great luminaries of the Latin music business such as Emilio Estefan (Chairman, Estefan Enterprises), Joe Kennedy (President, COO of Pandora Radio), Nir Seroussi (General Manager Sony Music US Latin), José Valle (President, Univision Radio), Pitbull (Recording Artist, A&R for Bad Boy Latino) and many others.
GENERAL ACTIVITIES FOR BERKLEE & BERKLEE VALENCIA
•The exhibit table provided to us was one of the main tables at the exhibit area. The visual presence we had was outstanding and one couldn’t register at the conference without seeing the
Berklee College of Music exhibit table.
•Berklee Valencia provided us with brochures, a Berklee Valencia banner, and the office of External Affairs provided us with Berklee Latin Studies Brochures.
•While the conference ran from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Tuesday April 24th & Wednesday April 25th, there were always two Berklee students at the table to address any inquiry. The exhibition area was next to the conference room, allowing us total exposure for all attendees during the conferences.
•We showcased videos and photos from Berklee Valencia and Berklee Latin Studies.
BERKLEE STUDENTS AT THE CONFERENCE & BERKLEE ALUMNI AS CONFERENCISTS
The first conference on Tuesday April 24th was named “The Leaders Panel” and it held the presence of General Manager for Sony US Latin, Nir Seroussi, where he and other heads of top music companies came together for a no-holds discussion on the state of the industry.
I asked a question addressed to Mr. Seroussi, and after I said I was a Berklee Student, he said
“Really? I went to Berklee for Music Business” in front of the entire conference. It was the very first conference and already one of the panelists was giving Berklee great social value! After the conference ended, I went to introduce myself to him and invited him to drop by the Berklee exhibit table. He arrived a few minutes later and chatted with us.
-“Is Don Gorder still the chair of the Music Business Department? I used to hang with him a lot, please send him my regards.”
-“You guys have Masters in Valencia now? That’s cool, I’m happy to see Berklee getting bigger.”
Mr. Nir then proceeded to give us his email for any inquiry. He stated that he would be happy to come and speak at the college. Having him at the table with us talking about Berklee really made the attendees curious about us. Whether or not they heard of the Berklee name before, if the people from the conference were graduates from this college and that college had a spot at the exhibit area, it must be for a very good reason.
ATTENDEES’ RECEPTION OF BERKLEE’S PROGRAMS
“I believe that people were excited to hear about master programs at Berklee, and they were impressed by the facilities at Valencia. Most of the people who attended the Billboard conference already have a degree and are thinking on going back to school to learn more about music.”
Francisco Ruíz (LAMBA member)
“As soon as I said to somebody walking by ‘hey, have you heard about Berklee Valencia? ´ they came up to me and said ¨Hey, are you a Berklee student?’ And they would start asking me all these questions. I felt so grateful that I could talk to all these managers and music business professionals so easily just because I was a Berklee student.”
Victor Murillo (LAMBA member)
“The fact that I was a Berklee student opened so many doors. The one moment that I felt the most grateful was when I met the president of Univision radio. All I had to do was to say that I was a Berklee student, and there it was, it broke the ice. It was great and I felt comfortable. He said how great he thought Berklee was, introduced me to all his colleagues, and he told me that I was taking a step in the right direction. It meant a lot. It was really an honor to realize that being a Berklee student can open so many doors.“
Paloma Torres (LAMBA member)
“The gratifying thing was to have people at the exhibit table. After they saw the Berklee Latin Studies, the Berklee Valencia campus and that people like Juan Luis Guerra is not just a Berklee alumnus but also a supporter of the Valencia Masters programs, they were really impressed and curious about us. “
Luis Galeana (LAMBA President)
Read more about about LAMBA at the 2012 Latin Billboard Awards in Part 2, including a meeting with Emilio Estefan, and pictures from the Billboard Awards Bash!