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  |   Meeting Planning   |   No comment

Whether it is a one day meeting for 30 land developers from across North America or a gathering of 1500 educators and students for a three day experience centered on improving school pride and growing graduation rates in their schools, at the conclusion of the event, the venue will present you with a bill for their services. Room rental, food & beverage, perhaps AV support – all items that supported your successful meeting. Easy.


Did you consider who paid the publishers, songwriters and composers of the music your attendees listened to as they walked into your general session room? Or the music that added energy and excitement in the room as your top performers were recognized? This is where a Performance-Rights Organization (PRO) comes into the picture. A PRO collects fees on the public performance of music whether live or pre-recorded and distributes those royalties to the rights holders.


ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), & SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers) are the major PROs in the North American market. Just as your DMC handles payments to the florist, decorator, and photographer; ASCAP, BMI, & SESAC ensure that the artists are compensated for the music that is played at your event. With penalties for non-payment (copyright infringement) that can exceed $30,000 per song, the current ASCAP Conventions, Trade Shows and Meetings rate of $125 for an event with less than 1,500 attendees is very cost effective. BMI & SESAC rates are competitive with the ASCAP rates even though all three organizations compute their rates differently. Historically, if there has been a perceived copyright infringement, the rights holders have pursued the “deep pockets” – typically the company or organization hosting the event.


As signatories for decades, we’ve provided the service of reporting and paying the PROs for our client’s events, saving them the inconvenience of having to handle it themselves and perhaps saving them money on smaller events by not having to pay the annual minimum fee that some of the PROs charge.


A slightly dated, but reasoned explanation of why you should license is available here:


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