After I went on a recording frenzy years ago, I had all this material (songs) and no avenues to submit. I spent all my time and effort learning the ins and outs of Protools and mixing my own music to get it just right (BTW thank you DJ Apryl - Southside Jamaica Queens NY), Lol, but then I had no contacts who would assist me in shopping my music so that it could be heard by A&R's or Industry Executives.
Currently, what I am happy to see is that there are MANY, MANY more avenues for young creatives to be discovered. If you cannot afford to attend an expensive convention (and they COST -- trust!!) then you can find "Meet Ups" in your area and start there.
Shoot, you can even travel to a nearby city that maybe a bit more welcoming to new music/new creatives. For example, if you are in Detroit and you are circulating your music, maybe one weekend you can travel to Chicago to make some connections. It's a 4-hour drive and it's cheaper than SXSW or the ASCAP Expo (nothing wrong with either, but IJS). If you are in Atlanta, maybe you can hop to NC, Nashville or Memphis.
If you have talent and you have a dream, do not settle on staying in one spot. You have got to make plans to get your ass out and get access! Do not let people tell you the Industry is over saturated! Girl/boy Bye!! This is THE ONLY WAY, you will get heard. Social Media is dope, but it is not the end all be all ...and nothing beats a one on one first impression.... J.