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Old 09-06-2019, 12:12 PM   #1
finalact4
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Default Austin 2019 - Help Please

hello all:

i'm looking at booking my stay for the Austin Film Festival but i don't know which days to stay. i am not in the competition but want to go to as many panels as possible and the parties to network.

i'll be driving down from north dallas. which days are the best for networking? the one when the panels are running? 24th -29th?

i think the aloft/element is, like, right across the street. not sure which badge. i want to go to all the panels on thurs, friday, sat and sun. the parties too. networking.

experience and advice requested please.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #2
ClintW3
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

The Producers Badge is all-access. All the parties, the BBQ and some panels etc open only those this Producers Badge.
A lot of people are gone Sunday morning.
The Aloft is a great location, but I'm not sure if you can get rooms there through the conference. The Courtyard/Residence Inn are my preferred spots to stay -- close enough to walk back to the room for a break, but away from craziness.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
finalact4
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintW3 View Post
The Producers Badge is all-access. All the parties, the BBQ and some panels etc open only those this Producers Badge.
A lot of people are gone Sunday morning.
The Aloft is a great location, but I'm not sure if you can get rooms there through the conference. The Courtyard/Residence Inn are my preferred spots to stay -- close enough to walk back to the room for a break, but away from craziness.
fortunately, i'll be using points for the Aloft. checked today they have rooms. i want to be close, you know?

i'm considering the conference badge as it's $200 less than the producer badge. $425 is still a bit of change. it looks like most stay for the weekend, then? i'm only interested in Thurs - Sunday.

the panels look good. want to network as much as possible, so if anyone has tips, please by all means-- sharzies!!

and by all means, i'm into hooking up with writers and hangin together. anyone else planning on going?
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
acquaformosa
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

If it's your first, I'd encourage you to spring for the Producers badge since it does get you into more events (e.g. BBQ), most of which fall under into that "networking" category you mentioned.

I highly endorse the lodging across the street for convenience. Short of staying at the Driskill itself, it's hard to beat.

Something else you might consider if the badge is giving you pause for thought:
Go ahead and get the Conference Badge and then put it out of your mind. When you arrive and pick up your stuff, if your adrenaline rush makes you feel impulsive, they'll even let you pay the extra remaining money for a Producers badge at check-in and let you upgrade. They probably up-sell anyway in case you forget, but I did that one year because all of a sudden, it felt like I never spent any money on the Conf badge anyway, since it was several weeks prior and already a sunk cost. Suddenly, it felt like I was only paying $200 for a Producers badge. Well, that's how I rationalized it.

Otherwise, yes... do (minimum) Thurs-Sun... trying to recall the Wednesday agenda, but wouldn't rule out Wednesday either since you're so close, but of course, that's an extra night of lodging overhead.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #5
finalact4
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by acquaformosa View Post
If it's your first, I'd encourage you to spring for the Producers badge since it does get you into more events (e.g. BBQ), most of which fall under into that "networking" category you mentioned.

I highly endorse the lodging across the street for convenience. Short of staying at the Driskill itself, it's hard to beat.

Something else you might consider if the badge is giving you pause for thought:
Go ahead and get the Conference Badge and then put it out of your mind. When you arrive and pick up your stuff, if your adrenaline rush makes you feel impulsive, they'll even let you pay the extra remaining money for a Producers badge at check-in and let you upgrade. They probably up-sell anyway in case you forget, but I did that one year because all of a sudden, it felt like I never spent any money on the Conf badge anyway, since it was several weeks prior and already a sunk cost. Suddenly, it felt like I was only paying $200 for a Producers badge. Well, that's how I rationalized it.

Otherwise, yes... do (minimum) Thurs-Sun... trying to recall the Wednesday agenda, but wouldn't rule out Wednesday either since you're so close, but of course, that's an extra night of lodging overhead.
got it.

yes, i rationalize **** that way too. haha

they don't have the schedule up, so i looked at last year and the stuff i really want IS during thurs - sun. will arrive wed afternoon.

i'm doing this in lieu of contests, hoping to connect with some people.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

if you're on a tight budget, the Conference Badge gets you into 99% of everything that a Producer's Badge does. the BBQ is okay (if it's not ungodly hot and/or raining) but honestly you can network with the same people afterward when everyone goes back to the Driskill Bar.

the writer panel days are the first Thurs-Sun. i personally like to leave later on Sunday if possible because they inevitably schedule something i really want to see after lunch and then i feel like i'm cutting it close to get out to Bergstrom for a 3p flight or something. hotels will hold your bags after checkout if you still want to kick around for the Sunday afternoon content.

Aloft is one of the participating AFF hotels (I stayed there last year for the first time and it definitely beats walking over from some of the other more distant options, and in roughly the same price range). they may have already sold all their alloted festival rooms tho. other than the super distant hotels that you have to drive to get to, any of the AFF-participating choices downtown are acceptable -- well, except maybe the La Quinta. really just depends on your budget and how far you want to walk to/from the Driskill each day
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
bmcthomas
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

Im staying at the Aloft. I walked past it many times in prior years and thought - oh I wish I was staying close by and could run up for a nap between panels. Try to stay in the conference area if you can. You will have down time - not enough to go back to a distant hotel but more than youd want to spend in a cafe.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:22 PM   #8
finalact4
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcthomas View Post
Im staying at the Aloft. I walked past it many times in prior years and thought - oh I wish I was staying close by and could run up for a nap between panels. Try to stay in the conference area if you can. You will have down time - not enough to go back to a distant hotel but more than youd want to spend in a cafe.
yep, definitely staying at the Aloft. cool.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

From best to worst, WED-THURS-FRI have always been my favorite days. Sat is a damn zoo, and most people flake on last minute Sunday get togethers.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please

P.S. - The Aloft used to be my favorite parking spot, back when it was a PAY LOT, LOL. Those bastards took my parking!
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