There is so much to learn, see, and do at SXSW, especially for artists who are looking for unique ways to promote their work and connect with like-minded creatives. And there’s no harm in putting the pedal to the metal and seeing what you might be able to accomplish.

Whether you’re brand new to your creative field or an already-established artist who’s interested in additional growth, here’s how to make the most of your time at SXSW and create valuable career opportunities that carry on after the festival has ended.

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What to Expect from SXSW

SXSW (South by Southwest) is a 10-day Austin event dedicated to sharing knowledge and appreciation of all things culture and media. Part music festival, part film festival, and part interactive media conference, SXSW is all about bringing together creators of all varieties to share their love of innovation. If you’re an artist with something to share, you’ll find no shortage of others who are eager to connect—and you may even be able to turn those connections into something more.

If you’re an artist with something to share, you’ll find no shortage of others who are eager to connect.

3 Ways to Use SXSW to Boost Your Career as an Artist

There’s lots of fun to be had at SXSW, but there’s also a lot of opportunity. Here are three things you can do to promote your artistic career and set yourself up for a successful visit.

1. Attend Keynotes, Panels, Workshops, and Summits

Definitely don’t miss out on the festival’s film and music offerings, but do prioritize conference events, too. SXSW has a massive schedule of talks on topics ranging from culture and design to climate and tech, with loads of insightful takeaways that any artist can use as they forge ahead in their career. 

Go hear about topics that you’re interested in from visionaries who have reached expert-level status, and be on the lookout for takeaways that can inspire and guide your artistic work.

2. Interact With the Advertising & Brand Experience Track

Attend any session that piques your interest, but be sure to prioritize the Advertising & Brand Experience interactive track, which focuses on topics and themes that any career-minded artist could benefit from learning more about. This track covers things like the creator economy (The Creator Economy & Brands: How to Build Trust), promoting your work (So You Have a Podcast? Let’s Grow It!), and content creation (Quick Thinking: Leveraging Real-Time Social Trends). And because it’s interactive, you’ll get a lot of chances to chat with others who are interested in the same things.

3. Network With Other Creatives

The term “networking” gets a bad rap, but it’s part of what SXSW is all about, at least for creatives. There are even meetups dedicated just to that! Engage in discussions without expecting anything, and simply seek to learn about what others are up to and what their passions are. You never know what doors a conversation can open for you or who knows someone else who can bring real value to your career. Or even who might simply spark some inspiration for your path forward!

Join Skillshare at SXSW!

We’ll be at SXSW, and we’d love to see you! We’re hosting events on the culture of creativity and the creator economy, so stop by and take part in the discussion. 

Check out more SXSW coverage on Skillshare.