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10 Gems in the Swag Bag: Takeaways From A3C

Photos and article by: Lauren Royer

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I actually thought I was prepared for All3Coasts. Like, I researched it to write the A3C article, I read the survival tips by MissCaseyCarter on prepping for it, followed the festival on IG, downloaded the A3C app- and I still was nowhere NEAR ready for the experience. For real, it was something of a different kind. I learned a lot and had a few precious reminders resurface too. If you haven’t gone to an event like this before (I hadn’t), pick up some of the gems I collected on the way.

Maybe I’ll see ya there next year.

1. The crowd at A3C is truly all walks of life.
There are different kinds of artists, people, ages, genres, and careers represented in the crowd. The freshmen and the professors. Another amazing thing is that the professional divide isn’t always visible in this type of venue. Like after panels, you’d see some of the ‘big names’ walk into the crowd like it wasn’t a big deal. “It’s a conference for us- the music everything individuals”.

2. You can actually have an intimate conversation with mentors face to face.
Get personal with it- this is seemingly more and more unheard of in the business world. The best thing you can do is take advantage of that time and come prepared. I saw a lot of people taking advantage of this at every opportunity.

3. Doesn’t matter if it’s 1996 or 2016- you gotta go hard with the same undying passion, and don’t look up until you got em. The festival paid homage to the year of 1996 and the messages and standards of ’96 was given new life in the modern.

4. The conference is the spirit of collaboration.
You don’t have to be afraid to approach your peers about collaboration and working together… in fact, the more you seek out collaboration, the more you’ll benefit from this event

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5. Make connections, make connections, and make connections.
Networking and the importance of keeping contacts were stressed by all the bossguy and bosslady folks sitting in the conference chairs on the multiple panels. This is a big thing ya’ll.

6. Well rounded people do nothing but roll down hill.
If you can specialize in something, do it and do it well. This is especially true if you’re aiming for a career with a bigger company or industry brand. That being said, if your goal is to fly solo, you will need to wear multiple hats.

7. All 3 coasts were represented, equal, and they come together at this event
There may be ongoing beef between the coasts, but at A3C that shit was for the birds. It didn’t matter if you were West Coast, East Coast, or errrrything in between… you had a voice and found inspiration from the other side of things.

8. Your team is just as important as you are.
If you’re walking around ATL with your team and they are supporting you, you will go further. There were so many crews walking around this event and Atlanta at this time. It doesn’t matter if it’s handing out your CDs or front row stage at your showcase- give them the same passion you give everything else. Make sure they believe in you so your dreams don’t expire- awwwe.

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9. Social media platforms are the new business card.
While business cards are still on and poppin’, make sure your social media represents you as a professional if you’re including handles on your business merch. Otherwise, you ain’t nothin’ but a piece of paper.

10. You have to have unrelenting belief in yourself.
You’re surrounded by your equals, your peers, your competition, and all of them are trying to do the same thing you are and believe in what they are doing. You may find yourself asking at some point “where does my belief in myself stand in all of this and what I’m trying to accomplish”. Deep.

11. Extra Lesson Learned (the hard way): Gifted Gab can roll a MEAN blunt. This is a lesson cause I found myself so lit that I accidentally ate a display biscuit at a Bojangles (creating a lil scene). Oops. Washington girl problems.

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