The Truth About Conventions and Model Searches
Conventions can be the safest, most time effective, cost effective, educational, inspirational, and family oriented way to see meet many reputable agents, managers and casting directors from all over the world in one place at one time.
However, many types of modeling conventions exist and not all are reputable or honest.
Check out their history, reputation, success stories, and the quantity and quality of the agencies attending. Study their web sites. Find out what the agencies and participants think about the event.
Don’t confuse the cost of a convention with its quality. Some times they put a high price tag on it because the unsuspecting prospective model may think that because it is so expensive that it is good.
Pick the convention that offers what you really need, either information, training, or actual contacts with legitimate agents and representatives.
Assess the costs to you. If you have to spend a lot of money in travel to attend, it may not really be worth it to you. If it’s close or even local, then it may be a good idea.
You should assess what you can gain from attending a convention versus what you can gain by doing your own research and approaching agencies on your own. The most significant benefit to any convention is the ability of prospective models to reach a large number of agents in one place, at one time, and when they are definitely in the “new talent” mode.
In the 1980’s traveling model searches began sweeping the United States and other countries. These companies were largely out of New York and traveled around the country selling mini-conventions directly to the public. These events did not include any training.
Many are now out-of-business, such as Model Search America, NYC Fame, Manhattan Model Search, and New York Model Contracts. Certainly, new events may emerge.
They are categorized by “big talk,” “hard sales,” and heartless tactics. Worst of all, they leave many hopeful models feeling worse about themselves, rather than educated and uplifted. Many searches disparage local modeling schools or agencies and every other type of event or representation, except their own.
Can this type of event help you?
Again, check them out as outlined above (history, reputation, success stories, testimonials, and the Better Business Bureau. etc.). Follow your “gut feeling,” and remember that this is only an introduction to the industry.
Some “agencies” will travel selling pictures and composite cards. They will then offer to represent you as an agent. No reputable agency does this. It is a scam. You are paying an inflated price for photos and will soon learn that this agency on your comp cards is not a real agency at all. Don’t waste your money and your trust