SPARS' Speed Counseling Panel at the 131st AES Convention
SPARS recently initiated a new series of SPARS Sessions at the 131st AES Convention, which was held October 20-23, 2011, in New York City. One such session was titled "Speed Counseling with Experts: Mentoring Answers for Your Career," and was warmly received by some 88 individual attendees that comprised 200 different opportunities for up close and personal counseling. The successful event was led by SPARS' current President of the Board, Kirk Imamura, who is also president of Avatar Studios in New York City.
The groundbreaking seminar was specially suited for students, recent graduates and those interested in career advice. Hosted by SPARS in cooperation with AES, G.A.N.G. and the Post NY Alliance, groups of 12 participants received career advice and answers to questions by interacting with 22 respected industry pros in six different career tracks—including record production, mastering, post, sound for film, gaming and live sound. The up close and personal sessions were 15 minutes in length and were repeated several times in the 1-hour, 30-minute period.
SPARS' Studio Talk Panel, from left: Stephen Joseph Antonelli, Lisa Horan, Kevin Hill, Chris Mara, Dan Workman, and Kirk Imamura.
SPARS also initiated "SPARS Talk: Lessons from Savvy Owners." Attendees had the opportunity to hear some outside the box thinking with regards to the music and recording industry. Imamura also led this event.
Hosted by SPARS and presented in a roundtable format, attendees were exposed to examples of recording studios and production facilities that are expanding their businesses beyond traditional recording. Panelists represented three recording businesses, each with a unique business angle or strategy: Dan Workman, president of Sugar Hill Studios in Houston, which is celebrating 70 years of continuous operation; Chris Mara, owner of Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, a facility with an interesting slant on analog; and Kevin Hill, Lisa Horan, and Stephen Joseph Antonelli, the principals of PopMark Media, a creative media partnership that offers unique services beyond traditional recording.