In terms of indie films, there’s possibly no event as big as the Sundance Film Festival. But it’s a crowded event with its own unique culture, and that means it’s beneficial to come prepared. Whether you’re an actor or writer trying to build your network or just an enthusiastic film aficionado, these tips can help you make the most of your time at Sundance.

Before the Event

Sundance can get crowded, and it’s imperative that you make sure that you’re well positioned to make the most of your time. If you can afford it, you’ll want to book a room that’s close to the center of the festival or at least along the shuttle lines. Taxi traffic and ride share services can be unreliable while the event is going on. Regardless, you’ll want to book your hotel as far ahead of time as possible. It can be beneficial to arrive a day ahead of time to get an understanding of the landscape and also prepare. A quick trip to the grocery to supply your hotel room ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Knowing the Events

While films get the spotlight in Sundance, screenings aren’t the only things going on. The first week focuses more on industry events that are great for those looking to network, while the second week tends to focus more on screenings. But there are also plenty of other events to attend. Keep an eye out for exhibits to attend between screenings, and be sure to keep an ear out for parties and events. Signing up for mailing lists for companies hosting events or speaking to their reps directly is a great way to get on the list, but networking can be a better way to get into the more exclusive events. Unless you have no intention of attending an event, always RSVP. Without an invitation, it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed anywhere exclusive.

Preparing For the Weather

Given that it takes place during Utah in the Winter, Sundance is obviously cold, but the level of chill may be a serious surprise for people used to warmer climes. Be sure to dress in layers so that you’re well suited for both the cold outdoors and the more temperate indoors, and be sure to pack some extra clothes in preparation for rain and snow. And don’t sacrifice your comfort for the sake of fashion. Sundance may be a celebrity event, but it’s also an expensive one, and you should enjoy it.