Connect With Us

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


« Some good, old-fashioned advice | Main | Rock Band Network authoring best left to the pros »

Ariel’s Tips On How To Advance Your Career at SXSW

I can not believe that March is upon us that means only one thing… It’s SXSW time again! Undoubtedly it will be just as full-on as last year with over 100,000 attendees expected to flood the venues and streets of Austin downing (free) Dixie and (free) BBQ and soaking up the music and the mayhem….

 If you are packing your bags for Austin Here are my tips for you (This guide is not just for SXSW; it’s also for any music conference out there!)


Envision What You Want Before You Arrive

My first bit of advice: Arrive prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.


Attend at Least One Music Conference Each Year

I believe all serious musicians should make it part of their job to attend at least one conference a year.  They can be expensive to get to, but think abut it this way: Music lessons were at one time expensive, and so was your equipment and those things are also vital for your career. Conferences are the best place to meet people who work in and around the music industry and are a relaxed environment to connect with people in it who can change the course of your career.

Austin, Texas, a wonderful city, and its distractions are many. But, keep in mind that this is not a vacation. It’s a work-related learning experience, and with a little planning and foresight you can have a million-dollar conference.


Before You Go, Get Connected!

SXSW Social Media:




Get registered to the South by Southwest Directory

Go through the site, which is VERY user friendly and links to your Twitter and Facebook seamlessly to determine whom you may want to meet before you arrive. Drop them a personal e-mail using their interface.


Bring Business Cards, Fizzkicks Cards & Postcards

Yes, You should have a business card and your card should not just have your name and number.  It should have good information about what you or your band sounds like (your pitch) , your Twitter handle, Myspace & Facebook URLS, and links to any other places people might be able to find you online. A photo of you or a band logo would also be highly recommended.


Don’t Haul A Ton Of CDs

I do not recommend bringing a lot of CDs. People are overwhelmed with free CDs and they won’t want to carry them home so it’s better to get people’s business cards and mail them a CD or better yet send your music digitally through Bandcamp of Soundcloud as a follow-up after you get home.


Talk To Strangers

Don’t be scared to take risks and meet people. Conferences are friendly places.  Just walk right up and ask “So, what brings you here?” You’ll have a new BFF in no time.


Attend Panels – You Will Learn Something J 

It’s tempting to blow the panels off and hit all of the free day parties but I encourage you to make an effort to sit in on at least one or two panels per day, on any topic that interests you, and take notes.


Get Mentored!

Most conferences have amazing mentoring sessions where you can sign up to have one-on-one face time with the industry peeps. Some of the most important people in the music business will be sitting there ready to meet with you.

When you do go to a one-on-one mentoring panel, be prepared to meet these people, and make sure that you have done your research and have specific questions to ask them.


Follow Up!

The moment you get home, make sure to send thank you notes, e-mails and follow up with every single person that you met. If appropriate, add them to your e-mail list. Never send your pitch or talk about business in the first initial e-mail. Get people to respond to your follow up by just being friendly. If you do not follow up your trip and hard work will have been a waste of your time. So, don’t rip yourself off here!

Please add your own tips or tricks here:

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Ariel’s Tips On How To Advance Your Career at SXSW - MTT - Music Think Tank

Reader Comments (9)

Thanks for the tips. Networking (in person) is so important. The idea of the follow up is also very powerful. I have gotten more jobs, positions, interviews or whatever I am looking for by staying in the picture and following up consistently (sometimes several times). That way when I ask someone for something (job, advise, interview, etc.) their reaction isn't "who are you?" That is a big hurdle to manage. Also if you can do things to help people out in your follow ups, that will help you too. Example: if you have a conversation with someone at a confrence (or anywhere) and they mention that they like sea bass. Take a second to jot that information down when you are finished talking to them. When you send them a "it was nice to meet you email" mention that you know a great place to get sea bass in whatever city you live in and if they are ever in the area they should check it out. This will certainly make you more memorable.

Thanks Ariel.

Tom Siegel

March 8 | Registered CommenterTom Siegel

Great tip - Make it Personal! Thanks Tom
- Ariel

March 8 | Unregistered CommenterAriel Hyatt

Thanks Ariel,,,great info as always!

All the best, E.

March 9 | Unregistered CommenterEric Daniel

Actually Tom, you have to be careful not to over do the 'Sea Bass' thing, could get a little creepy really ! connects Music Industry Professionals, Companies & Music Talent from around the globe, and provides tools that expedite A&R / new talent evaluation and recruitment, brand / music / roster promotion, communication, and new business deals (concert bookings, licensing, publishing, recording deals, management, agent representation, etc.)

This is a great way to connect with Bands and Professionals who are going to attend SXSW and those around the world who are not.

Basic Profiles are Free. Premium Profiles include full Bio, Music, Pics, Videos, Docs, Calendar + - Connects the Global Music Industry

@lucifer's attorney

Totally. I am not suggesting that you become a stalker. I find the best way to use this technique is to say something like: "by the way... I seem to remember you saying that you liked sea bass. I know of a restaurant with awesome Sea Bass. Just thought I woul let you know." I have also had success sending newspaper article clippings that may be of interest to a potential client just to show that their interest are important to me. The point is simple, if you stroke someone's ego they are more likely to remember you. But don't stalk people and don't be creepy.

Tom Siegel

March 9 | Registered CommenterTom Siegel

Great advice! With so many parties and bands it's sometimes hard to stay focused.
But you're right. This festival is as much about driving your passion and business to
another level so try to seize the moment vs. waste them.

Thanks again for the great advice! See you at SXSW !

Greg Brent

March 10 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Brent

Thanks for all of the additional tips and tricks and insights....

March 12 | Unregistered CommenterAriel Hyatt

Great little primer! Thanks for sharing.

March 12 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Dolan

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>