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How to get the most out of SXSW


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Presentation written in January 2009 for a training event with Scottish bands at SXSW

Published in: Entertainment & Humor
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How to get the most out of SXSW

  1. 1. How to get the most out of SxSW
  2. 2. Visas <ul><li>Band must have a Working Visa (P2) to play </li></ul><ul><li>Managers/delegates need a – ESTA – </li></ul><ul><li>Passport, Carrier, US address – at least 72 hours before </li></ul><ul><li>UK Citizens can enter for ‘business’ – less than 90 days must not be a journalist on assignment, nor “seeking gainful employment” </li></ul><ul><li>Must have a machine readable passport </li></ul>
  3. 3. Achieving Your Aims <ul><li>Be clear what you want to get from SxSW </li></ul><ul><li>1 or 2 main aims </li></ul><ul><li>Have a plan to achieve these </li></ul><ul><li>Additional Opportunities as they arise </li></ul>
  4. 4. Achieving Your Aims <ul><li>Research before – have a schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Divide up responsibilities between group </li></ul><ul><li>Try to cover as many bases – split up </li></ul><ul><li>Seminars & networking opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>SxSW: Panels, Keynote, Speakers, Mentor Sessions, Quickies Sessions, Demo Listening Sessions, CLE (Legal issues) </li></ul>
  5. 5. SxSW – The Reality <ul><li>150,000 Attendees – similar to Glastonbury </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 Conference Delegates </li></ul><ul><li>2,000 artists </li></ul><ul><li>90 stages – 70 venues </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘best in the World’ (SxSW 2008) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Networking <ul><li>“ You meet companies and people as an ‘equal’, as a fellow delegate rather than in the usual context - you looking for a gig or a deal - this is very valuable for artists because it puts you on a level footing: people are very frank in terms of honest feedback and are open with you. It also empowers you to be able to make deals on an equal footing.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Networking <ul><li>Take advantage of as many opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Try to cover as many bases – split up </li></ul><ul><li>Seminars & networking opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>SxSW: Panels, Keynote, Speakers, Mentor Sessions, Quickies Sessions, Demo Listening Sessions, CLE (Legal issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Make use of band pass – share it Tradefair, seminars etc </li></ul>
  8. 8. Networking <ul><li>Cannot be shy or retiring </li></ul><ul><li>Americans generally very open </li></ul><ul><li>Delegates are enjoying themselves </li></ul><ul><li>You never know who you could be eating a taco next to </li></ul>
  9. 9. Networking <ul><li>Cannot only rely on your manager </li></ul><ul><li>If you just go and see gigs there won’t be as many opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Invite people to your shows </li></ul><ul><li>My SxSW – messaging to delegates </li></ul>
  10. 10. Networking <ul><li>You need your own promo material </li></ul><ul><li>Have plenty of business cards, CDs and flyers on you all the time – even at 2am! </li></ul><ul><li>Promo CDs should have email address, telephone number as well as website & myspace </li></ul>
  11. 11. Promotion <ul><li>Use any means possible </li></ul><ul><li>Promo devices, stunts - originality </li></ul><ul><li>Be innovative </li></ul><ul><li>Word of mouth – PR – talk yourselves up </li></ul><ul><li>Go out flyering </li></ul>
  12. 12. Press <ul><li>Scotland & UK – before & after </li></ul><ul><li>Have a ready made ‘story’ </li></ul><ul><li>New media – blogs websites </li></ul><ul><li>Self promo – on blogs, message boards, groups, Twitter etc </li></ul><ul><li>Photocall – Trying to arrange 2 calls </li></ul>
  13. 13. Networking <ul><li>Follow up when you get back is key </li></ul><ul><li>There will be some people you miss or who miss you but still follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Scottish and UK networking useful </li></ul><ul><li>Make use of Trade Stand </li></ul>
  14. 14. Showcases <ul><li>Live show must be good </li></ul><ul><li>You must promote your shows </li></ul><ul><li>Let people know who you are from stage a few times during your set </li></ul><ul><li>Invite people to meet you after your set </li></ul>
  15. 15. Merch <ul><li>It is our plan to have Merch stalls </li></ul><ul><li>We can sell for you if you have merch </li></ul><ul><li>Will take a small % to cover costs of staff unless you can provide staff to man stall </li></ul><ul><li>Afternoon and Evening Showcase </li></ul>
  16. 16. Hard Work <ul><li>You have invested a lot of time and money in this – need to work hard on the ground </li></ul><ul><li>If you stay in bed all day you’ll miss out </li></ul><ul><li>If you drink all day you’ll miss out </li></ul><ul><li>4 long hard days and nights </li></ul>
  17. 17. Working Together <ul><li>Promote each others’ shows & parties </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment and backline </li></ul><ul><li>Crew – can we share crew? </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities may not fit you but could be good for others </li></ul>
  18. 18. Showcasing Scotland <ul><li>Two showcase – Day & Night Fri 20 March </li></ul><ul><li>2,000 Promo CDs </li></ul><ul><li>Posters & Flyers </li></ul><ul><li>T-shirts </li></ul><ul><li>Trade Fair </li></ul><ul><li>British Music Embassy </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Scottish Posters SxSW 2009 designed by </li></ul>
  20. 20. CD
  21. 21. <ul><li>Scottish Posters SxSW 2009 designed by </li></ul>
  22. 22. 300 Posters Day-time 300 Posters Night-time 300 Posters Showcases 1,000 Flyers – Day-time 1,000 Flyers – Night-time & showcases
  23. 23. <ul><li>T shirts </li></ul>
  24. 24. Trade Fair The Scottish Arts Council are part of the UK Stand in the trade fair Free for all bands to use Need for at least one Scottish delegate there at all times – Rota One 2hr shift during event
  25. 25. Trade Fair <ul><li>Austin Convention Center, Level 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Wednesday – Friday 12.00 noon – 6:00pm </li></ul><ul><li>All bands and delegates should use </li></ul><ul><li>Block Party Thu 19 4:00 – 6:00 pm </li></ul><ul><li>Acoustic Sets? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Trade Fair 2008
  27. 27. British Music Embassy <ul><li>Dedicated venue for UK shows day & night </li></ul><ul><li>Scottish Arts Council NIMIC </li></ul><ul><li>UKTi Music West Yorkshire </li></ul><ul><li>PRSF Liverpool Sound City/NW </li></ul><ul><li>AIM Other UK Partners – evenings </li></ul><ul><li>UK PA, Backline & Engineers </li></ul>
  28. 28. British Music Embassy 08
  29. 29. British Music Embassy 09 <ul><li>Wednesday 18 March 8pm British Inter-Music Party </li></ul><ul><li>Thursday 19 March </li></ul><ul><li>12.30 – 3pm Belfast Nashville 8pm – 1am NME </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 20 March </li></ul><ul><li>1.30pm – 5.30pm Showcasing Scotland 8pm – 1am Kerrang! </li></ul><ul><li>Saturday 21 March </li></ul><ul><li>11.30am-2.30pm Yorkshire Party 3pm – 6pm Liverpool Sound City/Best of the North West </li></ul>
  30. 30. British Music Embassy 09 <ul><li>RSVP for British Parties: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>But try to keep Scottish Party delegate focussed </li></ul><ul><li>Manage your lists/guest but any problems see me. I will have a must get in list or way to get press, delegates or other key people in. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Other UK events <ul><li>Thursday 19 March 12.30pm-1.30pm Convention Ctr </li></ul><ul><li>Meet the Scottish International Speed Dating </li></ul><ul><li>Friday 20 March – PRSF 3:30pm Music Licensing in a Converging World – Rm 15 Convention Centre </li></ul>
  32. 32. Fun! <ul><li>Showcases – wristband will not always guarantee entry, delegates get priority, many venues small </li></ul><ul><li>Day parties – most RSVP </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 33. Credit <ul><li>Promote Scottish Arts Council – makes my job so much easier when there are a raft of good press stories, all those who are supported have logos on flyers, website, emails and mention the support, in interviews at shows etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Every year I have to make the case for continuation and for budget to be able to undertake SxSW. </li></ul>
  34. 34. After the event <ul><li>Group Debrief Meeting – April/May </li></ul><ul><li>Individual feedback meeting/written report followed up 6 months and 1 year later. </li></ul><ul><li>Share contacts – leads etc </li></ul><ul><li>Future training events </li></ul>