Conventions & Awards

10 Reminders For SXSW Before You Enter The Abyss

Kosha-dillz-portraitBy indie rapper Kosha Dillz (@koshadillz).

I was thinking of a way to make a catchy article that could wow every sort of person involved in SXSW, but then I just started to write down ideas that I actually need for myself. I thought about how I could prepare since I am flying to H-town then SA on a red eye tomorrow all just in time for Gary Vaynerchuk's big speech on the 7th and SXSW shabbat, where all the Jewish Tech-Geeks get together for dinner on the first night of tech mayhem

Anyways…for all you people on the hustle hoping to make some moves, I wrote this article for you.

After 7 years of SXSW, I realize I can't afford not to make something awesome happen there which will help propel my career to the next level, so this article will hopefully help you do the same. Two most important things.  Allocation of Time and Sleep. Things you can't get back. Proceed.

1. You will talk to 500 people. Focus on five.

Through out the week you will meet around this many people. If you are performing, even better. Let's say you are not even performing, managing or anything and just there to scope it out. If you set a goal of making 5 meaningful SXSW relationships (1 per day), you might actually be able to draw business up. This is probably the most important thing you should remember. I don't care about how many business cards I get.

2. Live and helpful interaction.

Now is the time to really interact with people and do things for them. If you are on Twitter, do someone the favor and follow them and mention them. The entire social media (follow, like, love)  epidemic works for you, especially if you are helping out a person with less following than you. Don't be a dick and tweet the kids out ya know? Let people be excited.

3. Don't Go Drunk to Work
Sure everyone else will be extremely drunk in this situation but I don't know anyone who can recall that all the alcohol consumed at SX was a great idea for their business decisions and relationships. More importantly, it's safer to say that they can be drunk, but you should probably be on your Ps and Qs, especially if it's you who wants something out of it all.

4. Choose attraction or not promotion.

I used to buy like 5000 flyers and 300 posters, but now I do way less flyers and posters, because so much time is wasted in the OCD mind set of doing this all. I'll cut that in half and spend more of my time talking to people about an event they may be interested in, rather than randomly tossing fliers everywhere.

5. Bring a video camera for some special moments.

A lot of good conversatons happen at SX, including moments of hilarity at 4 am. It's best that you bring a camera. You might meet TechN9ne at a pizza place, and then learn it's all about timing. That's what life is all about guys….timing…so bring a camera.

6. Hit them where they Ain't ( A league of their own mentality).

Everyone will be at the big shebang, but the real gems are in places you wouldn't think. When everyone says go left to the Fader Fort, I look for the shit bar with a little bit of dial up connection on the right. That's where you will really remember something, or someone, special. It constructs the story somewhat better I think, which is what SXSW is all about. I met my best friend at a gas station once at SXSW in 2008.  We are still that close, and sure I would've rather slept with her at the time, but the story of how we met is pretty damn good.

7. Don't forget your real life.

I plan on calling my mother a few times during the week, contacting booking agents, sending emails and all the rest. Real life ensues. If you mess up in the mid week of March, what about  your April and May? I will call my family and friends on the daily even if it's just for 5 minutes a day. Try it. You will be better at whatever it is you choose.

8. Show up early and take advantage of the quiet before the storm (aka enthusiasm).

I'm getting in for tech week on  a red eye tomorrow and I plan on having tons of success because people will be enthusiastic! Later in the week, people will be burnt out. All the whack free stuff will be left. The bloggers will not wanna blog. The filmers will not wanna film. The writers will not wanna write. This sentence can get longer and more drastic but I'll stop here.

9. Choose one day to give out things for free – then be selective.

Ok. Today is bomb the city day. Pass out all the fliers and fliers and fliers and posters. Give out cds and cds and more. Then afterwards, give it to those who reach a certain level of awesomeness. No more random. Not enough time for all that to be wasteful

10. Sleep a minimum of 6 hrs a night.

They say Sleep doesn't exist well but it is possible. You can get 8 hrs of sleep if you go to sleep at 2 and get up at 10. It's simple Math. Aim for 6 at least. That can be 3-9 or 4-10.   If you sleep a minimum of 6 hours a night, you will be alright.


I hope you enjoyed my last minute interactive tips for your SXSW conquest.  While you are at it, check out my schedule on my website to find out where I will be rapping.

RSVP for my 3rd annual OY VEY! party on Thursday, and peep my official SXSW showcase on Saturday.

I also make custom songs for some people out there.

Check out this song about @garyvee and his book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.

I hope we can be hangin' out soon!

@koshadillz is an official SXSW 2014 artist who loves the hustle, Hebrew, rapping in Hebrew and Spanish, and drinking coffee before he goes to bed. His latest album Awkward in a Good Way premiered on Billboard via Murs' label 316.


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  1. i love the 5 people instead of 500…its such an awesome mentality. What do you guys think? 🙂 it;ll be trouble to sleep 6 hours a night with all those sick shows he has.

  2. This advice is excellent and can be applied to virtually any conference setting. Well done!!!

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