From The Side Of The Road… rejected WOB seminar topics

Let this serve as a friendly reminder that the deadline for submitting IBMA Business Conference session proposals is this Friday, July 31st at 5:00 p.m. central. This is a great opportunity to help come up with new and interesting topics for the conference. Seminars about web site building and how not to kill yourself with your self-destructive road lifestyle are perennial and important topics, but it’s always good to diversify the subject matter and “think outside the bus.” Plus, 2020 presents an array of new challenges for the bluegrass industry, so this is also a good time to address those. 

If you’re thinking of suggesting some yourself, I would caution you that a number of ideas have already been rejected for various reasons. A list of these rejected proposals has been leaked to me and I present it below, along with the primary reason for the rejection. This provides an opportunity to look these over, avoid some of the pitfalls, and then get your much better ideas in by Friday.

Too unrealistic or impractical:

One-on-One Sales – Increasing CD sales by meeting every potential customer face-to-face and guilting them into buying your album

It’s All in Your Perspective — Getting rich through streaming by redefining “rich.”

“No it’s a dachsund!” – Attracting a younger audience to bluegrass festivals by making and distributing hundreds of balloon animals

Healthy and Fresh Road Food – Solving the problem of the unhealthy road diet by traveling with your own rolling greenhouse

Fresh Meat to Generic Pharmaceuticals – Expanding the offerings at bluegrass merchandise tables during a time of slow CD sales

Too Boring:

I Heart the Status Quo! — How to keep everything exactly the same in the bluegrass industry

Forming Subcommittees (for IBMA board members or members of other industry organizations) — How to delay substantive action on virtually anything by farming out issues to new committees

Mindfulness in Performance — How to start every show with 10 minutes of meditation on stage and still hold your audience, or not care if you don’t

Banner Year — How to select materials and sew a merchandise table banner that’s really nice

Social Media Tips — using random pictures of inanimate objects to beat the Facebook algorithms

Too Personal:

“We REALLY need a mandolin player” — Filling out a family band quickly through adoption or fertility drugs

“Then I made little rocks out of big rocks . . .” — Incorporating testimonials about your prison time into regular stage banter

“I don’t want to be friends but please don’t leave the band” — how couples within the band can split up and still keep playing together

The converse: “Let’s stay together but let’s not play in a band together” — Keeping a relationship alive by breaking up a band

Too depressing, COVID-19 edition:

Social Media Tips For What’s Left of 2020: how to block, unfollow, or unfriend virtually everybody

“You can have the whole couch” — Holding a viable house concert with fewer than 15 attendees

Sell Eggs or Turn to Organized Crime — Great Depression era tips to supplementing music income during the pandemic

And finally, in the same category, I’m surprised this one was rejected as it has a simple beauty: