It’s Spring Break and if you’re not at a beach, mountain, or lake somewhere chances are you opted to go to SXSW. Over 30k people annually flock to the Live Music Mecca to vibe out to their favorite artists and discover new ones, making this the perfect time to gain new fans. If you are brand especially an artist, it’s time to get your sh*t together. Although it is just days away, no worries! I have compiled the perfect cheat sheet to arm you with the essentials to get you out there at the right time in the right way and make the most of your trip.
Have a Plan
Sounds simple right? You should have at least 3 measurable goals. Do you want to increase traffic to your site, increase downloads, network with more industry leaders, have more followers, etc.? Once you establish your goals and how you will measure them, you can design a clear cut way to achieve them and truly mark your trip a success. We all love to feel progress don’t we?
Short and Simple
Whether you’re an artist, manager, blogger, or the professional bag carrier everyone is someone at SXSW. Between the drunk concert goers, the long waits in line, and most people being high AF, you need to come ready with a short explanation of yourself and what you do. You should practice what that is, so it’s natural because you need to be quick, concise, and memorable.
The Wristband: It Not Just About Being Official –Attend the Sessions
I know we all love the concerts, secret shows, and free drinks, but if you are only using that wristband/ badge for the shows, you have really been screwing yourself. The main reason you should be paying for the wristband is to get access to the all the knowledge and networking! The sessions, meetups, and panels are the perfect time to talk to the right people –industry leaders, influencers, brands. There are demo listening sessions where A&Rs will give you feedback about your music, panels made up of labels and brands who are giving you advice on how to move in the industry –Artist as CEO: Running the Show Onstage and Off , and niche meetups to network with people –I Want You to Meet Me: Artists Seeking Brands!
Here are just a couple to spotlight:
Creative and Financial Aspects of Sampling hosted by Micheal Watts from SwishaHouse and Scott Cupolo from the Warner Music Group
Help Brands Help You hosted by reps from Warner Bros., Dell, and Sony Music.
A Conversation with TI hosted by Sway to discuss politics and music.
You have to preplan where you want to be NOW! Some of the more popular ones require an RSVP or fill up fast so be ready to be there a little earlier.
Please get that handle together! Even if it is just a temporary change, having all your handles for Twitter, IG, and Snapchat all the same is the easiest way to get people to follow you across all platforms. No one has time to find you on each. You want new followers but don’t forget the old ones –so post frequently and authentically. If you have a show or an event it’s not too late to get a custom Snapchat filter.
If you have a show you need a professional videographer, if you are a brand you need a professional videographer, if you are… well content is king no matter what you do or industry you are in. Docustyle video, behind the scenes footage, performance footage is a golden ticket marketing asset. Check out the Avenue Dream Street Team for last minute booking and a consult on how to effectively use it. Use the code ADFKASS and you’ll get 10% off (you’re welcome).
We all know merch is important. It’s always best to leave a fan with something that can amplify your brand. While it may be too late to order too much custom merchandise, there are some places that will rush order smaller things like t-shirts, stickers, and buttons.
Have a list of people you need to meet and who you want to meet. While we want to potentially meet everyone, in reality we just can’t. Review the sessions and do some social media creeping to find industry leaders and figure out what they are a part of and where they may be. You should plan to try to meet as many bloggers, DJs, and media as possible. This could be your opportunity to establish a real relationship with some contacts that have the ability to get your work out there. It’s not all about the fans but who can help get you access to more!
You will meet so many people every day but follow up is a major key with being memorable. Those follow up calls, texts, emails will go a long way. It gives you a chance to reestablish who you are, what you do, and if your awesome, which we know you are, recap the convo you may have had.
Sure it’s a little work but you will leave accomplished and ready to take your brand to the next level. It is SXSW so work hard and play harder.
photo credit: Giphy, SXSW Instagram