Canadian Music Trade - April/May 2017 - Page 26

PRINT & EDUCATIONAL MEDIA IN 2017 2016 RPMDA C onvention for print media of all kinds. Trad itionally print-f ocused industries like newspapers, books, and magazines have seen their business models upended by the internet and digital devices, and the onslaught of competing – and often free – content they enable. Their distribution models have been obliterated as consumers’ eyes are often looking at the screen in front of them rather than at the pages in their hands for the information they need. Print music dealers and publishers have been feeling this disruption as much as, if not more than, the other industries mentioned. There is still a vibrant print music market out there, but it’s tougher to find and servicing it takes more thought, ingenuity, and effort than it did in the pre-digital age. It’s during challenging times that it’s most important for people of a common cause and similar position to come together. Industry- wide challenges of any kind are rarely overcome and adequately addressed by individuals pursuing their own solutions, but rather, are better tackled by a large group of determined minds working toward the same goals. Through the sharing of lessons learned, solutions tried, and stories of success and failure, each individual within the larger industry is best equipped to navigate the path ahead. Thankfully for print music professionals, there is the Retail Print Music Dealers Association and its annual convention. Now in its 41st year, the RPMDA Convention has happened through the highs and lows, helping members navigate every road the print industry has taken them down. “I don’t want people to be cavalier about an organization that’s here to support them,” says RPDMA President Don Langlie, who also owns Poppler’s Music in Grand Forks, ND. “They should take advantage of it; it’s important, and I think it will help their businesses, or least their understanding about where it should go. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I think they need to be exposed to what’s going on and I would encourage them to make the trip.” As we have in recent years, Canadian Music Trade has again reached out to the RPMDA to offer a preview of this year’s convention, taking place in Atlanta, GA from April 26-29, and share a sampling of the lessons and insight that RPDMA members from across North America will be receiving. 26 • CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE