Wear what you feel comfortable in. Today is not the day to try those brand new formal shoes, that high-street leotard that requires double-sided tape, or anything out of your fashion comfort zone.
Dress to represent your brand. While you want to feel comfortable in your chosen garments, that does not mean “show up to the panel in yoga pants,” (unless you are a meditation/zen/spa music composer, then you grudgingly get a pass from me). You want your music, business cards, and real-life brand to all line up. Try a slightly toned-down version of your onstage/on-camera wardrobe.
Wear something with your name or first initial on it. Great way to put others at ease in case they forget your name. If you have a charm necklace or lapel pin
Wear a conversation piece (2-3 is even better). If you don’t have any wearable gizmos with your name on it, here’s another, even better suggestion! What important elements of your being do you have outside music, and this event? Do you have anything sentimental that you can wear? Inviting questions and further good conversations by being able to launch into a story of your pet, favourite fandom, hometown, etc. makes you much more memorable to new connections.
Breaking The Ice
Keep your right hand free. Most of the world’s population is right-handed. Therefore, people you meet will automatically reach out their right hand to shake yours. Keep your phone, pamphlets, and (for the love of anything good!) cold drink in your left.
Don’t load up a food plate at a standing dinner. A standing dinner is organized that way to encourage networking. It’s hard to find the perfect time to approach someone of interest when one’s mouth is constantly full and hands are either balancing a plate, or sticky from the dipping sauce.
Treat the big shots like your equals. Music conferences are not the occasion to fangirl/fanboy over Big Shot CEO over there. Line up to talk to them at the mentor’s café, not outside their washroom stall.
Give people free candy. Here is an article I wrote on why I think it’s a great idea.
If asked what you do, don’t give a one word professional title. Vague titles like “producer,” “drummer,” or even “videographer” don’t help you be remembered. Light up their “what’s in it for me?” sense by describing what you/your company does, and who it helps. Bonus points for adapting to the individual person.
Write down specific personal conversation details after meeting someone new. You’ll be using these in your follow up email.
Follow up by reminding them who you are (nicely). This is where the personal details come in handy. Ask them if they would like to be added to your mailing list.
Keep your business cards organized. Same goes for your phone’s contact list. This can be accomplished with spreadsheets that get backed up or special cloud marketing software.