And as a relative Festival newcomer myself (class of 2011), when I was recently asked to offer up some tips for others visiting our event for the first time I thought it best to canvas some opinions.
So here, without further ado, are some of the top tips and handy hints that the wonderful Advisory Committee have to offer..!
On arrival, drop your bags and go to The George. The rest will all become clear (or not!).
- Go through the delegate list and plan coffees in advance. And then plan to change all your plans and go with the flow…
- Get a rolling system of queuing at the Bar at the George. I think the staff are prone to bribery through good tips.
- Make sure you see at least 1 fringe thing!
- Read the thoughts of panellists and audiences live for the sessions that you’re in (and, importantly, those that you’re not) by using the session hashtags on Twitter. Each session uses the hashtag of the room it’s being held in: #pentland, #fintry, and so on. You’ll never miss out on the stories as they happen.
- Always carry a bottle of water and a snack. The sessions are so good there is often little time to eat.
- Pack Berocca and nurofen.
- Pack more of it than you think you will need. You will need it. Pack clothes for summer, winter, spring and autumn. Guaranteed to experience all seasons during the weekend.
- Make a plan. As soon as you get the schedule, highlight the key sessions you want to go and see.
- See some comedy if you get a chance!
- Don’t be afraid of “networking”. Networking is just gossiping. Who in the TV world doesn’t like talking about themselves and their great shows.
- Only buy large glasses of wine at The George – otherwise you’ll be back in the queue in no time.
- Share taxis outside the conference centre. It’s amazing who you can hop in with……
- Nobody minds people introducing themselves at Edinburgh. That, after all, is why we're all there. So don't be shy. If you spot someone you're dying to talk to, pick your moment and go and say hello. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the reaction. Resist the temptation to imagine they are now your NBF, stalk them for the next 24 hours and insist they come back to your hotel for a nightcap, but be brave. Fortune favours the brave.
- Don’t be intimidated by the people you will meet, but also don't be pushy and thrust your script or CV under their noses.
- Be keen and introduce yourself to commissioners but don’t feel you need to pitch to them at every opportunity. Make them remember you for being fun and passionate about TV; not for pitching to them in the toilets.
'Don't forget to make some time in the evenings to see a couple of comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe – but if you don't book them by the first week in August the hot names will already be sold out'
10. Simon Tomkins
Attend sessions which are 'out of your comfort zone’. This will help build knowledge and awareness of a range of areas which will be useful going forward.
11. Ian Johnson
• Save embarrassment - Wear your name badge so it’s easily visible for anyone you’ve met the night before and who can’t remember your name
• See something at the fringe right at the beginning so you have something to discuss OTHER than TV!
So there you have it. Top tips from those that know. Have fun following (or ignoring) them. I’ll see you there!