Can’t attend SXSW? SeeTalkGrow brings the industry to your desktop

Houston vocalist-entrepreneurs team up to launch an entertainment industry business experiment. Photo: Justin Winokur

HOUSTON, March 31, 2012 — How does an ambitious, industrious woman stay active and involved in the music industry - or any other industry for that matter - with a bun in the oven? How does she stay on top of her business activities with a baby on board? Or a toddler in tow? That’s the question I asked myself as I sat on my living room sofa pondering my new baby bump and lamenting the fact that there was no way on earth I could attend SXSW - the biggest music industry conference in the USA - for at least the next few years.

Bouncing around downtown Austin in the heat of March with swollen feet, an achy back, and random bouts of morning sickness certainly wasn’t my idea of a party. And yet, the idea of missing an opportunity to fraternize with my business colleagues as they traveled in from all over the world was downright depressing.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. And sure enough, to address this professional dilemma head-on, this pregnant lady’s brain charged itself up with inspirational hormones, transforming her into a soon-to-be super-mom who chortled in the face of daunting limitations and scoffed at the prospect of insurmountable obstacles.

I decided that the answer to all my maternal challenges was to launch my own live online music, film, technology, and writing conference. It would be conducted entirely via webcast, chat boards, and other social media components. Plus ­­­- while covering all aspects of entertainment and media ­– it would be distinguished by its special emphasis on the business of being a work-at-home mommy.

I imagined I’d call my cyber experiment, SeeTalkGrow. Attendees would see live webcast panels and seminars, talk to each other and to influential show guests, and grow their industry knowledge and business contacts through interactive live events.

This was a brainstorm to end all brainstorms, no doubt. But how to implement it? There’s the rub.

Tianna Hall, jazz vocalist, joins Grassman in developing SeeTalkGrow.


Thankfully, I have enough resourceful friends in the industry, many of whome are based right here in Houston conveniently enough. I knew they’d help me develop my idea and take the incremental first steps in my master-plan to liberate home-and-office-bound entertainment and media professionals everywhere.

Joining with me to launch SeeTalkGrow, is model mommy and musical mastermind, Tianna Hall. Hall is a sultry jazz vocalist, well known in elite music circles for her vintage classiness, enigmatic elegance, and timeless persona as an artist. While Hall has done it all - performing in hundreds of concerts, entertaining thousands, releasing Grammy nominated albums, and designing numerous websites - her greatest achievement to date is her beautiful baby boy, Lex. Hall will be helping with the technical side of SeeTalkGrow, developing interactive functions and improving website services for SeeTalkGrow attendees.

My comrades at Bandzoogle - a music website development platform - are sponsoring SeeTalkGrow with web-hosting and site layout templates. They were even kind enough to offer me a special deal for SeeTalkGrow viewers. Specifically, six months of free webhosting and site design widgets when viewers use SeeTalkGrow as a referrer.

Another friend, Attorney Leslie Warren Cross, is investing his extensive knowledge and experience in entertainment law to protect and advance my new-momma-self as I journey into the perilous world of event coordination and live broadcasting.

All this amity is a great, real-life example of why surrounding oneself with good, honest, hardworking people is so important for success both in business and in life. I feel a bit like Frodo, in The Lord of the Rings, setting off with my companions on the adventure of a lifetime (minus the intrepid danger, ring wraiths, and acute misery of course).

Upcoming SeeTalkGrow events include two online concerts featuring folk singer-songwriter, Michelle Cowan on April 3, and Stevie Nicks tribute artist, Brooke Alyson on April 6. Live webcast interviews with music supervisor Barry Coffing, artist and event management software designer Darren Gallop of Marcato Digital Solutions, and entertainment PR specialist Jennifer Allison of EXE Media Group, are also on the calendar for April and May.

For full schedule and event details, you can visit Please continue to follow this columnn, and my other music industry column, The Business of Being Diva, as I document the development of this new business model, cover live events, and traverse the brave new world of cyber conferencing and online performance.

About Jennifer Grassman:

Singer, songwriter and pianist, Jennifer Grassman is an award-winning recording artist and founder of SeeTalkGrow, a 100% online music, film, technology, and communications conference. Subscribe by RSS feed and read more at or Follow Jennifer in this column and at her music column, The Business of Being Diva here in Washington Times Communities. Also keep in touch via @JGrassman, @SeeTalkGrow, and like and

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from SeeTalkGrow: The New Entertainment Industry
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Jennifer Grassman

Jennifer Grassman is a singer, songstress and pianist who inadvertently became a music industry trailblazer in the wake of the digital revolution. In addition to penning her quirky music industry column, "The Business of Being Diva," Jennifer writes songs and performs concert tours. Jennifer’s accomplishments include being nominated Houston’s best female vocalist and best songwriter and was named best keyboardist in the 2010 Houston Press Music Awards. She assisted in a campaign that raised more than $100,000 for CrimeStoppers and was commended by musician Tori Amos for her charitable efforts on behalf of domestic-abuse victims.  Jennifer has released three CDs, the most recent of which, "Serpent Tales & Nightingales," received accolades from Christianity Today, the Houston Chronicle and Brian Ray and the guitarist of Paul McCartney's band. You can check out Jennifer’s music at, like her on Facebook and tweet her at

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