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RPMDA 2020 – It’s A Different Kind of Convention

Christian Wissmuller • Upfront • November 15, 2019

The Board of Directors of RPMDA is working hard, planning the 2020 Convention, to be held April 30th – May 3rd at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. While many in the Music Industry attend conventions throughout the year, RPMDA is “not your typical kind of convention.” Whether we attend as vendors or buyers, we are accustomed to exhibits, speakers, breakouts and other activities – but do these activities really answer your questions and address the issues relevant to your business? RPMDA, on the other hand, is all about communication, relationships, and growing businesses. The Board has structured our program to be a combination of educational seminars and one-on-one engagement to ensure you have the tools you need to move your business forward. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge print department, or you sell only a few method books; if you have print music in your store, RPMDA can help you grow your business.

The RPMDA Convention is unique in that it provides a setting that encourages product knowledge, networking, and camaraderie among publishers, retailers and others in the music industry to discuss the important issues facing music retailers today. As our website ( states, “RPMDA is a group like no other when it comes to idea sharing and the nurturing of lifelong business and personal relationships. Our members consider this organization to be a ‘second family,’ a constant support for nearly all of their business needs, and one of the best investments they could ever make.”

Two unique features of the RPMDA Convention are our “Power Hour,” and the ensuing “Spark.” Power Hour gives retailers and publishers a guaranteed time for one-on-one interaction, in a setting that attendees agree is “much improved over the traditional booth/exhibit experience. It’s great to have one on one conversations.” From the publisher standpoint, this format “allows us to introduce ourselves to those who haven’t heard about us yet . . . I like that I can chat with nearly all attendees.” From the retailers’ standpoint, members have stated, “I find this to be very effective, the vendors are so informative on their products and we got some great ideas. This is so much more effective for building relationships.” The “Spark” time following each Power Hour allows individual attendees to explore further, ask additional questions, and build stronger relationships with the publishers of their choice.

Of course, the convention will also include guest speakers, breakout sessions and entertaining social events. While the program is still being finalized, plans are being made for a very special group visit to attend the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, held at the Fairgrounds, an event that attracted over 475,000 last year and is sure to be a very special event.

The Hyatt Regency is located next to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, close to the Smoothie King Center and Lafayette Square. Just a short walk from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, this 4-star hotel features an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center. Additional amenities at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands. Getting to nearby attractions is a breeze with area shuttles and ride services. The World War II Museum is nearby, as are river cruise and water boat tour opportunities. RPMDA has negotiated exceptionally reasonable rates for our stay, so please plan to bring your family and enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer!

The Retail Print Music Dealers Association (RPMDA) is a group of music retailers, publishers and others, committed to “providing a common meeting ground for the interchange of ideas among dealers, to promote ethical standards and policies in dealing with music publishers, and to promote better and more meaningful dealer-publisher relations.” Its first convention was held in 1976, and the group has been a strong voice in the music industry ever since. The RPMDA Board is comprised of David Jahnke of Hal Leonard (President), Mike Watson of Remenyi Music (VP/Convention), Ron Manus of Alfred Music (VP/Secretary-Treasurer), Don Langlie of Poppler’s Music (Past President), and Karl Kjos of Neil A. Kjos Music Company and Tracy Leenman of Musical Innovations, Members-at-Large. For more information about RPMDA or the 2020 Convention, please go to or to the RPMDA Facebook page.

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