Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

A SXSW Guide to Earning Your Access Instead of Paying For It

03/04/2024

A SXSW Guide to Earning Your Access Instead of Paying For It

Hillary Lewis April 2, 2024

0 Comments

Do you ever feel like entertainment industry conferences, festivals, or networking events are out of reach? Why are these conference price tags so unrealistic for the average joe to pay for? Why do these events feel so unattainable especially now, in these unprecedented times of layoffs, twin strikes, and a slow trickle of content being greenlit?

Unfortunately so many professionals in the industry are still faced with unemployment. And for those struggling to stay afloat, attending events like these can mean the difference between making a valuable networking connection or not.

Even with a job, your chances of getting your ticket paid for is very slim. There's few too many employers in the industry that offer to pay their employees' way to conferences. My previous employers were never one of those, and for years I assumed those conferences were out of my reach until I discovered volunteering.

Every year in mid-March, a convergence of music, film, comedy and tech happens in the heart of Austin, TX. South by Southwest (SXSW) is a mountain of opportunities for those attending. And having a badge can get you access to nine jam-packed days of premieres, screenings, mentor sessions, panels, workshops, happy hours, meetups, screenings, activations, award shows, and so much more. It's a career playground for professionals and a hot spot for networking.

If you want to attend SXSW, you can get a badge in one of three ways:

Pay the steep fee for a Music, Interactive, or Film & TV badge next year's pricing starts at $945 and increases heavily over time. If you want full access to all three tracks, you'll need to pay even more for a Platinum badge which starts at the low, low price of $1365.

If you're employed, you could muster up the courage to ask your employer for a badge cross your fingers and hope for the best.

OR do what I did and sign up as a volunteer! This can be a huge opportunity for those with flexible schedules or anyone unemployed looking for a chance to learn and network with other like-minded industry professionals.

Like most of my colleagues in Unscripted TV, I've been unemployed since May of 2023. Since January of 2024, there was zero indication that the industry's momentum was going to change anytime soon, so I signed up as a SXSW volunteer at the end of January.

Volunteering: How Does It Work? To sign up for volunteering at SXSW, you can visit their volunteer website and fill out an application form. The application process is straightforward and allows you to choose your availability and preferences for volunteer shifts.

Volunteering at SXSW requires a minimum commitment of 40 56 hours in exchange for the same badges and access to the festival that other attendees are paying for. You'll need to volunteer 40 for either a Film & TV, Music, or Interactive badge, and 56 hours for a Platinum badge. This can feel like a big commitment of time but you can usually knock out your hours in 4 shifts or less.

Volunteer sign-ups start two or three months ahead of the festival, so be sure to get on the mailing list and sign up with enough time to select a crew and schedule that works for you.

Select Your Crew The festival itself is spread out all over the downtown area of Austin and needs all kinds of volunteers doing different jobs. You could opt for the Sessions crew and be responsible for scanning badge holders in and out of scheduled panels, sessions, or workshops. Or the Transportation crew, driving VIPs to and from the airport, theaters, events, shows, etc. Each crew offers a unique experience and opportunities to get involved with like-minded individuals. Check out all the Crew options and descriptions here.

Select Your Shifts When volunteering, SXSW requires a total of 40 volunteer hours to earn a Music, Film & TV, or Interactive badge. If you want the full access Platinum badge, you'll need to volunteer 56 hours. Depending on the crew you picked, you can choose four 10-hr days to fulfill your required hours. There are other shift lengths available as well as weekdays and weekend shifts. Make sure to schedule and show up for your full required hours or you could have your badge access revoked. Note: Don't worry about feeding yourself while volunteering. Shifts longer than 8 hours will get you a meal ticket to several food trucks just for volunteers.

Hot Tip: Sign up to work your volunteer shifts at SXSW EDU, which happens the week before the full conference begins. This allows you to get most or all of your volunteer hours completed ahead of time so you can fully enjoy your badge access during the conference!

Select Your Badge With four different badges to choose from, Music, Film & TV, Interactive, and Platinum, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. Since I chose the Film & TV track, I'll be focusing on my experience with the Film & TV badge access. Check out more details on badge access here.

Use Your Badge After confirming your shifts, pick up your badge at Registration on the first day of the conference, or as soon as you're able. Even if you haven't worked your first shift yet, you now have full access to all Film & TV premieres, screenings, panels, sessions, events, activations, happy hours, opening parties, awards shows, and more!

If you're unsure or have any questions, reach out to vol@sxsw.com. The staff is so friendly and genuinely wants volunteers to get the most out of their volunteer experience.

My Personal Volunteering Experience

My overall review: I genuinely had a great time volunteering. I picked the Sessions crew and my shifts consisted of scanning badges, monitoring room capacity, radioing in room status for the SXSW app, greeting speake
LINK: https://creativecow.net/a-sxsw-guide-to-earning-your-access-instead-of...
See more stories from creativecow

Most recent headlines

04/08/2024

Dalet Appoints Santiago Solanas as CEO to Lead Next Era of Growth and Innovation

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, is excited to announce Santiago Solanas as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)....

03/06/2024

Dalet and Veritone Reach Agreement to Distribute, Transact and Monetize Media Archives

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, a...

28/04/2024

Mediahaus delivers the first SRT live-streaming sports production over 5G with URSA Broadcast G2

Mediahaus delivers the first SRT live-streaming sports production over 5G with U...

15/04/2024

Sinclair Launches 'Broadspan' NextGen TV Datacasting Platform

In a notable leap forward for broadcasters planning to monetize their NextGen TV broadcasts, Sinclair has announced the launch of its Broadspan datacasting pl...

15/04/2024

NAB Show: The Data-Fueled AI Revolution in Media

Like a science fiction novel where artificial intelligence is involved in everything people do, the 2024 NAB Show is seeing artificial intelligence, and in part...

15/04/2024

NAB Show: Sustainability Progressing Amidst Evolving Regulatory Framework

Sustainability was one of the big topics at NAB Show last year, and this year the topic has matured within a media environment during technological and regulato...

15/04/2024

The Cloud: Where Cooperation and Collaboration Are Built-In'

The cloud has offered significant on-demand availability for data storage without direct active management by the user. Increasingly, however, it isn't just...

15/04/2024

NAB Show to Address Emerging Creator Economy With New Creator Lab

At first glance, it might seem a bit odd that the 2024 NAB Show is rolling out a new feature dubbed the Creator Lab....

15/04/2024

NAB Show Streamlines Search for Answers in a Transformed Marketplace

As the media and entertainment industry meets again in Las Vegas, NAB Show kicks off the beginning of its second century. Organizers describe an agenda suited t...

15/04/2024

Ikegami Announces Four New Additions to its Range of Broa...

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, Ikegami USA will introduce four new additions to its range of broadcast-quality production equipment at the 2024 NAB...

15/04/2024

Digital Anarchy Debuts Major Update to its AI-Driven Digital Makeup and Skin Retouching Tools at NAB 2024

Digital Anarchy Debuts Major Update to its AI-Driven Digital Makeup and Skin Ret...

15/04/2024

Grass Valley Showcases Industry-Leading Innovations and Continued Growth Milestones at NAB Show 2024

Grass Valley Showcases Industry-Leading Innovations and Continued Growth Milesto...

15/04/2024

Hitachi Kokusai Demonstrates ST 2110 Studio Production Workflow

Hitachi Kokusai Demonstrates ST 2110 Studio Production Workflow Brie Clayton April 14, 2024 0 Comments To be shown at NAB Show 2024, new Interface Kit...

15/04/2024

Pebble Collaborates with NVIDIA to Bring PRIMA - Pebble's State-of-the-Art Software Platform - to NVIDIA Holoscan for Media

Pebble Collaborates with NVIDIA to Bring PRIMA - Pebble's State-of-the-Art S...

15/04/2024

Rolling with the Gnomies: CBC Hiring at Greenville Yard Gnomes

Need a summer job? Love baseball? Interested in finding out about a career in sports management, food service, hospitality and more? The Greenville Yard Gnomes ...

14/04/2024

SNS Announces EVO Suite Updates At NAB Show 2024

St. Louis, MO - April 14, 2024 - Studio Network Solutions (SNS) announced updates to the EVO Suite of software tools included with EVO shared storage today at N...

14/04/2024

New EVO Suite Features Announced At NAB Show 2024

alt= class=wp-image-12028 data-lazy-srcset=https://www.studionetworksolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/NAB-Just-Announced-960x540-1.png 960w,......

14/04/2024

DPA MICROPHONES UNVEILS AIR1 UNIVERSAL MINIATURE FUR WINDSCREEN AT NAB 2024

A Professional Windscreen Designed for Lavalier and Headset Microphones That Guarantees Highly Efficient Wind Protection and Unrivaled Acoustic Transparency DP...

14/04/2024

Tolka, Amlogic Partner On Advanced TV, STB Development With ATSC 3.0 Support

ATLANTA Integrated circuit semiconductor producer Amlogic has selected Tolka Telecommunications as its technology partner in the development of NextGen TV recei...

14/04/2024

swXtch.io Launches Partner Program at 2024 NAB Show

swXtch.io has launched a strategic partner program at 2024 NAB Show, aimed at building an intelligent cloud networking ecosystem for the broadcast, media and en...

14/04/2024

Shooting the sky for AppleTV epic Masters of the Air

Shooting the sky for AppleTV epic Masters of the Air Adrian Pennington April 14, 2024 0 Comments Producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks required his...

14/04/2024

Legacy Effects Brings Beloved Characters To Life With EVO

Legacy Effects Brings Beloved Characters To Life With EVO Melanie Ciotti April 14, 2024 0 Comments Hero image: The Legacy Effects team brought several...

14/04/2024

Avid to Demonstrate AI-Enhanced Production Tools at 2024 NAB Show

The power of AI (artificial intelligence) will be central to Avid's product offerings at the NAB Show between April 13 and 17 in Las Vegas....

14/04/2024

Waymark's Ai Video Advertising Platform Now in 90%+ of U.S. Markets

DETROIT, Mich. The AI video advertising technology provider Waymark has announced that it has secured partnerships with top broadcast, cable, radio, and streami...

14/04/2024

SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2024: Sunday's Latest From Vegas

SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2024: Sunday's Latest From Vegas By SVG Staff Sunday, April 14, 2024 - 12:41 am Print This Story The NAB Show kicks off today, a...

14/04/2024

Live From NAB Show 2024: Program Productions' Bob Carzoli on Investment Growth and Supporting Freelancers with the ProCrewz App

Live From NAB Show 2024: Program Productions Bob Carzoli on Investment Growth an...

14/04/2024

Live From NAB Show 2024: Appear's Thomas Bostrm Jrgensen, Alex Pannell, and Ed McGivern on Backing the Continued Growth of Live Sports

Live From NAB Show 2024: Appears Thomas Bostr m J rgensen, Alex Pannell, and Ed ...

14/04/2024

Live From NAB Show 2024: Amagi's Dan Marshall on Migrating On-Prem Data Centers to The Cloud and the Exciting Growth of FAST Channels

Live From NAB Show 2024: Amagis Dan Marshall on Migrating On-Prem Data Centers t...

14/04/2024

Live From NAB Show 2024: Ross Video's David Ross on Celebrating 50 Years with Major Product Intros

Live From NAB Show 2024: Ross Videos David Ross on Celebrating 50 Years with Maj...

14/04/2024

NAB 2024: NHL, Verizon Business, and AWS Roll Out 5G-enabled Cloud Broadcasting Solution

NAB 2024: NHL, Verizon Business, and AWS Roll Out 5G-enabled Cloud Broadcasting ...

14/04/2024

Ross Video Celebrates 50th Anniversary at 2024 NAB Show

Visit Ross Video in the South Hall, Booth SL2005, to see how the company unlocks live video production through their Hyperconverged, XR Graphics and Cloud solut...

13/04/2024

EVO: The GOAT Of Workflow

alt= class=wp-image-12308 data-lazy-src=/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/EVO-the-goat-of-workflow-960x540-3.jpg/> Why EVO Is The Greatest Of All Time In the world of...

13/04/2024

Lighting a Horror Scene With LEE Filters

In this video, gaffer Elena Armellini takes viewers behind the scenes as she lights a horror scene. She and her crew black-out the locations windows to give the...

13/04/2024

Grass Valley Unveils Integrated Wireless RF and 5G Camera Solutions at NAB Show 2024

MONTREAL, CANADA - April 13, 2024 - Grass Valley, a leading innovator for live p...

13/04/2024

Canon Unveils 4K HDR Portable Zoom Lens for NAB Show

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Canon Europe today unveiled the CJ27ex7.3B IASE T portable zoom lens for capturing 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) image quality from wi...

13/04/2024

Blackmagic Design unveils game-changer' URSA Cine 12K

The company has also unveiled DaVinci Resolve 19, which adds new AI tools, as well as over 100 feature upgrades By Jenny Priestley Published: April 13, 2024 ...

13/04/2024

CEO Bob Bakishs Pay Slipped to $31.3 Million as Paramount Nears Takeover

Paramount Global, in the throes of takeover talk, said CEO Bob Bakish received total compensation of $31.3 million for heading the company in 2023, down 2.4% fr...

13/04/2024

Former NBCU Ad Sales Exec Krishan Bhatia Joins Amazon

Amazon said it hired former NBCUniversal ad sales exec Krishan Bhatia as VP, global video advertising....

13/04/2024

It's Time for Reinvention of Media Business, Says Accenture

Radical steps are required if media companies want to achieve financial and strategic success, according to a new report from Accenture....

13/04/2024

27% of Advertisers To Spend More in Upfronts: iSpot Survey

While so much of the TV advertising business has faced unprecedented change as technology enables more consumer choice and a variety of new ways to spend their ...

13/04/2024

Smart TV Maker TCL Using AI To Create Original Content for TCLtvPlus Streaming Platform

TCL, the giant Chinese smart-TV maker, said it is using generative artificial in...

13/04/2024

The CW President Dennis Miller Talks Up Net's Reboot and What's Coming Next (Q&A)

Dennis Miller took over as president of The CW in October 2022, after the networ...

13/04/2024

Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin: Does It Work?

Franklin, which has Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin, on a secret mission to France, trying to convince the French to help the desperate Americans in the Revolut...

13/04/2024

Great American Family Tells Growth Story in Upfront Pitch

Despite trying times in the industry, Great American Media CEO Bill Abbott believes his faith in building a cable network is being rewarded....

13/04/2024

Broadcasters Invest in Run3TV To Bolster Overthe-Air Audience Measurement

Local television station owners including Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, Tegna and the E.W. Scripps Co. have invested in the ATSC...

13/04/2024

Mary Connelly, Executive Producer of Jennifer Hudson,' To Exit

Mary Connelly, executive producer of Warner Bros.'s The Jennifer Hudson Show, is departing at the end of this season, she told the show's staff on Thurs...

13/04/2024

Station Groups Announce Investment in ATSC 3.0 Software Platform

WASHINGTON Several broadcast station groups have formed an advocacy to invest and promote the advancement of RUN3TV, a software suite for ATSC 3.0 that takes ad...

13/04/2024

2024 NAB TV Engineering Award Recipient a Model of Modesty

The standard press release doesn't adequately sum up the contributions Winston Caldwell recipient of the 2024 NAB TV Engineering Achievement Award has made ...

13/04/2024

Sinclair Teams with Digicap, Eonti to Launch Program to Advance ATSC 3.0 Security

SEOUL, Korea Sinclair Broadcast Group said today that it is partnering with Kore...