ARTICLE: IEBA Conference Takes Over Downtown Nashville

More than 500 live entertainment industry professionals converged were in Nashville for the annual conference of the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) October 11-13 to set the stage for the next touring season with an exclusive look at the hottest talent. IEBA was founded in 1970 as a non-profit trade organization for talent buyers, concert promoters, agents, managers, artists and other related entertainment professionals to provide networking, showcasing and educational opportunities to strengthen relationships, foster growth and increase revenue for the live entertainment industry. It is known for showcasing the best and brightest talent in all genres of music and all fields of entertainment--exposing buyers to the freshest acts for the buying season.

This years convention kicked off the three day event with a show in the Hilton Ballroom celebrating Motown's 50th Anniversary. Boyz II Men harmonized to an amazing line-up of Motown classics, mixed with some of their own powerful hits. Following their showcase, motivational speaker Dan Clark delivered the Opening Keynote to 500 IEBA members who gave the speaker a standing ovation.

Throughout the days events, more music artists took to the same stage to perform and share some of the stories behind the music including Uncle Kracker, TobyMac, Emily West, Rhett Akins, Jamie O'Neal, Mark Wills, and Jeff Bates. Later that evening Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, Clay Walker, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band, Whiskey Myers all performed for IEBA conference attendees at a shoulder to shoulder packed crowd at The Stage on downtowns famous Broadway.

Monday evening the 2009 Annual (IEBA) Honors Ceremony was held at the Ryman Auditorium to celebrate the live entertainment industry's top buyers, agents, promoters, venues, festivals and artists. Guests enjoyed performances from Jamey Johnson, Jessie James, Lorrie Morgan, Randy Houser, Jud Laipply, Chris Young, and Chubby Checker. The show was hosted by Luke Perry and honored Chubby Checker, Barbara Hubbard and Joan Saltel.

Brenda Lee presented Chubby Checker with the Career Achievement Award. Joan Saltel won the Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to her by Lorrie Morgan and CAA's John Huie handed Barbara Hubbard the Harry A. Peebles Award. Other winners included:

Entertainment Buyer of the Year - Todd Boltin of Variety Attractions
Promoter of the Year - Outback Concerts of TN
Talent Agent of the Year - John Huie of CAA
Venue of the Year - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
Event of the Year - Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

Tuesday’s stage entertainment included an energetic performance with Phil Vassar, new songs and some familiar songs from Michelle Branch and the simple tongue and cheek humor and tunes of Joey + Rory in the Hilton Ballroom

IEBA closed its annual three-day conference with a spectacular show from former Eagle Don Felder and the legendary Wailers. Hundreds of entertainment buyers spent the week in Nashville taking in more than 35 artist showcases, various informative panel discussions and countless hours of networking.

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