I know a secret. This secret has allowed me to attend numerous parties, festivals, concerts, and events completely free of charge for the past few years.
I have used it to get behind-the-scenes access to the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Hollywood.
I have used it to hang out backstage with Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch.
I have even used it to run a Spartan Race in Las Vegas completely free of charge.
This secret can help you get almost anything for free and set you up to network with some of the biggest players in whatever industry or social circle you desire to become a part of.
What is this secret?
Yes I know volunteering is hardly a “secret”. But when you really think about all the benefits of volunteering, it’s shocking that more people don’t do it.
• You get to attend an event for free that you would usually have to pay for.
• You get to know the event organizers and become an “insider”.
• You get behind the scenes access that the VIPs don’t even get.
• You are put in a position authority.
• And you get to assist in the running and production of an event or festival that you care about.
I hear people complaining all the time about how they wish they could do something but don’t have the money.
“I really want to go to that concert, but tickets are so expensive.”
“I would love to run that race, but the entrance fee is too much for me.”
“Going to the Sundance Film Festival is on my bucket list, but that kind of stuff is for celebrities and rich people.”
These are cases of people wanting to do something, but not being willing to think outside the box for a solution.
A few years ago I was walking down Hollywood Blvd and noticed that a number of the theaters in the area were hosting the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. It looked like a pretty interesting event so I decided to see what I could do to get in.
I walked into one of the theaters and asked to speak to a volunteer coordinator. When he came over I introduced myself and asked if he could use an extra volunteer for the day, as I had some free time and would love to help out. Within five minutes I had an all-access pass which allowed me to go anywhere I wanted in the festival.
Yeah. That’s a lot of money.
That $1649 gets you…
- Red Carpet access
- Priority entry to all shows
- Entry to the Opening Night Screening and Gala Party
- Access to exclusive “meet and greet” events with acclaimed actors, film critics, and historians
- Access to all events, panels, and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
- And more
You pretty much get everything the festival has to offer.
I got all that, PLUS backstage access… for free.
All I had to do was offer to volunteer for a few hours and in return I got unlimited access to the entire production for the duration of the event. (I didn’t even have to volunteer for the entire time.)
Do you know what’s even better? Now that I have that staff pass, I can attend that film festival whenever I want. I just slip the pass around my neck and walk right in.
It’s amazing what you can get simply by volunteering.
The Sundance Film Festival is one of premiere film festivals in the world. Celebrities, politicians, sports stars, and “big wigs” from all over the world are in attendance.
Many films even have their world premieres at Sundance.
Have you ever wanted to attend a movie premiere? It’s easy. Just go online, sign up as a volunteer and voila, you’re an insider at one of the premiere film festivals on the planet. (I’ll be volunteering this January. Trust me. This method is much easier than having to sneak into a movie premier.)
Almost any event you can think of has some kind of opportunity for volunteering.
I recently ran a Spartan Race for free in Las Vegas. A few weeks before the event I went onto their website and signed up as a volunteer. When the day of the race came I showed up a few hours early, helped out for a bit, then got a free race later that day along with unlimited access to the event, and free food and merchandise.
But the real benefit to volunteering isn’t the free stuff you can get (or the good karma.) It’s the social connections.
A few years ago I had a student come to me asking how he could meet and network with the big players in the comedy world. (He wanted to be a stand-up comic.) I did some research and recommended that he volunteer his time at one of the major comedy clubs in the area who were doing a charity event and food drive over the course of a few days at their club.
He would get to meet the club owner and get on a first name basis with him. Plus he would stand out from all the other guys who probably approached him trying to “get something”.
Instead, he approached him and OFFERED VALUE without asking for anything in return. He simply offered to volunteer his time at the charity event.
That’s the kind of thing that gets you in the door with powerful people.
By doing exactly the opposite of what most guys would do, he was able to network with people high up in his industry and become an insider.
It’s called reciprocity. People want to help those who help them.
As an added bonus, guess who was also helping out at the charity event that night…
Do you know how much money people would be willing to pay to hang out with Jerry Seinfeld for a night?
Normally I couldn’t even put a price tag on something like that, but in this case I know it only cost a few hours.