Work conferences tend to be a mixed bag for most. While there is a little fun, it is mostly lectures, discussions, and shop talk, right?
Unless you work in Country Radio ;)
Our biggest industry conference is pretty damn cool. This year was my first year to attend. It was held the last part of February/first part of March in Nashville.... consequently, Blissdom was being held in Nashville at the very same time. We were downtown and they were at Gaylord Opryland...... then, oddly enough, when I was visiting NYC last month, BlogHer was also there.
Anyway, I traveled with my friend and coworker, J. As soon as we arrived in Nashville, we were picked up by one of our record reps, checked into our hotel, and were ready just in time for one of the coolest lunches ever. Universal Music Group hosts a lunch at The Ryman, where their artists each perform a couple songs. There were about 20 artists altogether and it was amazing.
Laura Bell Bundy
Um... Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan
Throughout the week, there are a ton of different events. You really can't go to all of them. Some are general and open to everyone...... some require an invite. Wednesday night was by far the most exclusive event I got the privilege to attend....
Jerrod Neimann, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Young
Since Miranda (along with Chris and Jerrod) was on tour, they wouldn't be able to attend their label event. They had shows Thurs, Fri, and Sat. So, they held their own acoustic show. It was a guitar pool style and so amazing.
Chris Young and I
On the bus back to the hotel. We may have indulged in one too many RandaRitas.
There was a lot going on that evening and we made the rounds. By the time I got back to my room, I think I pretty much fell right asleep.
The next day, we had a couple of sessions, followed by a "Haunted Pub Crawl" with a group. The only problem is that I did not plan my meals properly and about passed out before I ate. Honestly, I couldn't quite enjoy the tour because I felt so ill.
The evening was one of the hottest events each year, apparently.... The Sony Boat. We go on The General Jackson and are treated to dinner and a show. One really neat part of the evening is that we met up with a bunch of other people from our company and ate with them. We have several country stations within our company, but it's rare to come into contact with any of them, lol.
Sara Evans and I
Carrie Underwood and I
Gary Overton.... the head of Sony Nashville... we inadvertently ended up eating lunch with him the next day. I was in awe and even missed a planned session, so that I could keep listening to him. He was so personable and really shared a wealth of experience/knowledge with us.
Kristin Kelly.... She's brand new... I *adore* her...
Love And Theft
The whole gang.....
J and I....
There really was SO much going on the entire weekend and I'm just not realizing that I didn't get pictures of most of it. We were going nonstop the whole week. Between sessions, panels, and events, it was amazing.
The last thing I did manage to get some picture of was the last dinner. Out of the newer artists on the scene, they choose 4-5 that they feel are quickly making their way up. One of my favorites was featured......
I cannot tell you how incredible the whole week was.... not just from a fun perspective, but from a learning perspective. I came back feeling so energized and educated.
I am already praying that I get to go, again, next year.