Music Inc Magazine May 2024

T he week before we shipped this issue, the Music Inc. team spent four days in Florida at the annual National Associa- tion of School Music Dealers (NASMD) Conference golfing, networking and learning from fellow industry members and experts on a variety of topics, including how to incorporate the latest technology tools into a music business. While full coverage of the 2024 NASMD convention will appear in next month’s June issue, this month’s annual Retail Tech issue seemed like the perfect place to highlight a few of the most interesting tech tools we discovered while attending the convention’s many educational sessions. PERSPECTIVE I BY KATIE KAILUS TECH UP TO LEVEL UP

It’s also worth mentioning that all these tools offer a free, basic version while sharing a similar end goal of improving communications and streamlining busi- ness operations. 1. is an AI meeting assistant that transcribes meetings in real-time, records audio, provides summaries, extracts action items and much more. NASMD speaker Dennis Hallmeyer of Bertrand’s Music suggested MI retailers’ educational road reps use the tool while meeting with band directors to improve post-meeting commu- nication and service — but really it can be beneficial in any important business meet- ing that requires follow up. “ shares bullet points and action items and works

like having ChatGPT incorporated into your conversation,” Hallmeyer said. 2. Also recommended by Hallmeyer was AI assistant Claude . Hallmeyer said he prefers the service over its buzzier counterparts Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini and suggested using these AI assistants to create custom- ized recruitment emails for middle school music programs — but it would work just as well for summer rock camp email campaigns. “You have to play around with these AI technologies, but you can even create recruitment- themed social posts for, say, a marching band program,” Hallmeyer shared. 3. FollowUpThen is an email reminder service that every member of the industry can use — regardless of what segment they work in. Suggested by NASMD keynote speaker and Dialog Consulting’s Dave Nelsen, the free and simple email tool lets you schedule reminders by BBCing its domain with a specified time frame on any important email — such as 3days@ or When the designated time arrives, FollowUpThen will ping only the emailer on the date they specified on the original email, reminding them to, well, follow up. Bottom line: If we learned anything at the 2024 NASMD convention it’s despite some small learning curves, once adopted, these tech tools will help your business run more effectively and more efficiently, while improving customer communications. Consider deploying tech tools that offer a free one-month trial to see if it enhances your business before signing up for a monthly plan. In today’s market, the best way to level up is to double down on tech. MI

10 I MUSIC INC. I MAY 2024

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