Lessons Learned: Brian Zisk says invite your friends to your conference

John Shinal · April 15, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1c4

Brian Zisk is a veteran of the Internet music industry. In fact, he's been around it when it was more of an underground movement that a business.

In this second part of a four-part interview, the executive producer of the San Fran Music Tech Summit talks about how to put on a successful conference.

His first rule: have confidence that the event will work out, even if you're panicking right up until the moment it begins. Zisk calls this "having balls of steel." 

The second rule, in a phrase: invite your friends. His explanation of how to go around gatekeepers at Silicon Valley firms is a primer for entrepreneurs and journalists alike.

Instead of going through corporate PR departments and getting folks from the business side as speakers or moderators, Brian invites technology entrepreneurs whom he's known from his early days as a musician and open-music advocate.

One of the speakers for his second confab -- happening May 8 -- was a YouTube engineer whom Zisk invited after running into him at a party.

"I don't want your legal opinion. I want to know how musicians and technologists can work together" to imporve the state of digital music.

A founding member of the Future of Music Coalition, Zisk has long been an advocate for online music sold without DRM restrictions, which was a topic we discussed here.  

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