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10 Can't-Miss SXSW Panels for Creators

Austin’s SXSW festival isn’t just the perfect place for happy hours and breakfast tacos (...it is that, too...) but also the perfect place to learn. But, with countless options to absorb all things film, music, and more - where do you start? We know that scheduling the perfect panel programming agenda ain't easy, so we’ve done the work for you. From learning to grow your membership business (shameless plug) to getting your new podcast in front of listeners, these panels will leave you buzzing about your industry and thinking about all the cool things you’ll be creating next.

So, get your laptops charged and your notebooks ready: here are our 10 can’t-miss SXSW panels for creators.

  1. How to Launch & Grow a Membership Business: Friday, March 8th at 11 AM, at Westin Austin Downtown. Join Patreon’s own Alexis Gay, Creator Leadership Lead, to learn how to launch and grow an audience-backed business. The first step to making money as a creator is learning how to be an entrepreneur, and membership makes that possible. So, if you’re looking for tools, tips, and actionable ways to leverage your passion to get paid, this sessions is for you.

  2. So You Think You Can Podcast: Saturday, March 9th at 3:30 PM, at Westin Austin Downtown. By broadcasting a live podcast, attendees will learn the essentials to radio content creation, the psychology of hosting, how to increase your SEO, getting the best interviews and more. The podcast will include guestS that work in the media and entertainment industry who will give professional insight on what it truly takes to have a successful career in radio, media, and podcasting.

  3. How You Can Fight Bias with Content Strategy: Sunday, March 10th at JW Marriot. Users' minds take shortcuts to get through the day, even when viewing and consuming the content creators make. We call these cognitive biases. Usually, they’re harmless, in some cases even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? In this talk, you’ll see real-world examples of nasty biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. Then you’ll learn about content strategy and design choices that can be used in apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases.

  4. Making What You Want to Make: Monday, March 11th at 3:30 PM, at Patreon’s House of Creativity, 86 Rainey Street. Join your favorite video creators the Try Guys in this session focused on the journey toward creative freedom. Learn how big risk often equals big rewards, and how the Try Guys went from reaching an audience via Buzzfeed to forming their very own independent filming company.

  5. “Tech-xit”: Is the EU too Tough on Tech?: Tuesday, March 12th at 12:30 PM at La Condesa. Over the last two decades, European regulators have targeted leading U.S. tech innovators, placing heavy burdens on privacy, copyright, tax, and competition rules for major tech companies. As a result, some companies have pulled out of European markets or simply blocked access to their users in the EU. Join experts, including Weston Dombroski from Patreon’s Legal Team, to answer the question: is the EU too tough on tech?

  6. Using Your Platform for Good: Tuesday, March 12th at 3:30 PM, at Patreon’s House of Creativity, 86 Rainey Street. Now more than ever, fans are listening to artists. They trust artists, and they’re turning to the artists they love to make positive change when the world seems grim. So, what can artists do to rise to the occasion and take on this daunting responsibility? Find out in this session Kati Morton.

  7. The Business of Creating: Tuesday, March 12th at 5 PM, at Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon K. Dig into all things creative business with Patreon’s CEO, Jack Conte. Money? Check. Business? Also, check. Finances? We’ll have that covered. Management? All over it. Yes, we know these are things that give creators a headache, but they really shouldn’t. That’s how Jack Conte, YouTube creator and touring musician, felt before starting a company. Fast forward five years later and co-founding and running Patreon, Jack has come to realize that everything he’s learned as a CEO has made him a better creator. Pursuing a creative career requires the same smarts, grit, organization, and management that it takes to scale a business. Hear Jack’s story and learn what he’s learned in business that he wishes he’d known as a creator.

  8. Make Your Music, Make Your Money: Wednesday, March 13th 2:30 PM at Hilton Austin Downtown. The music industry has changed in the last few years. For example, being an independent artist used to be one of the hardest ways to earn a living and not being on a label used to mean financial instability. Luckily, there are more business options for those looking to fly solo by closing the gap between fans and musicians. Hayley Rosenblum leads Amanda Palmer's social and community team and Patreon's Camille Hearst, founder of Kit and former PM at iTunes and YouTube Music, will discuss the future of the music industry in this session.

  9. It’s Ok to Make Money: Wednesday, March 13th 12:30 PM, at 86 Rainey Street. Feeling weird about making money? In this SXSW, they’ll answer one of the biggest questions facing creators these days. How do you sustain yourself and your work? Thinking through the lens of today's content creators and podcasters, Acast discusses advocacy as an audio maker, the role of advertising in podcasting, determining your worth and owning your voice, and the incredibly nuanced challenges of balancing being a creator with earning a living and supporting your work. Join Acast, the BBC, and podcasters, Watch What Crappens, for this lively discussion.

  10. Engaging with Your Community: Wednesday, March 13th 3:30 PM at 86 Rainey Street. Within your sea of fans, you’ve got super fans and quite frankly, they’re magic. No matter what you make, they’re listening, watching, and happily along for the ride. How do you connect with them? How do you create with them? Join Patreon co-founder Jack Conte as he chats about community with Ben Folds and Amanda Palmer.

Now that you’re officially set to get your learn on, check out our SXSW survival guide (with places you can find the aforementioned breakfast tacos), read our list of the best meetups for creators, and, of course, request an invite to Patreon’s House of Creativity where creators like you will be experiencing curated collaborative programming, interactive exhibits, plus daily exclusive showcases and live shows.

We can ‘t wait to learn with you in Austin!