Top Tips Before Leaving Before SXSW

In less than two weeks, the world’s leading filmmakers, marketers, musicians, advertisers and tech influencers will gather in Austin, TX for South by Southwest (SXSW). What began in 1987, as a humble music festival, bringing in about 700 attendees has flourished into a fully integrated music, film and interactive event attracting over 30,000 people worldwide. with a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.

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If you’re new to all the SXSW frenzy, not to worry. You are about to embark on a unique opportunity to be a part of a premier breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. With all that SXSW has to offer, things can get a little overwhelming. So, we talked to some SXSW veterans to get their insights on how to make the most out of the conference.

Here are their top recommendations:

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  1. Preparation Makes Perfect

You’ve got to prepare before you leave for Austin. To help you out with this, use the SXSW GO app. Make sure you login to your SXsocial account and download the SXSW GO app, which allows you to get a sneak peak at sessions you wish to attend, share your schedule, and find/message other attendees. Now, you are more than welcome to just show up to panels, however, if you want to attend any workshops, remember to RSVP ahead of time.

2. Get SXSW Badge – 1st Thing

Your first priority, once you arrive should be to pick up your badge. Once you have it, keep your badge in a safe place, it literally holds the key to everything, and if you lose it, you have to buy another full price ticket! Try to head to the badge pickup location at Austin Convention Center, in the morning, as lines tend to be long. To expedite this process, you can get your quick code through your SXSWsocial account.

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3. Don’t try to do too much

The panels and workshops are spread across downtown Austin, so be realistic with your scheduling. Select two or three top panels you really want to see, and plan to pop into other events going on around them. If you need a moment or two to collect yourself or grab some nosh, head over to the SXgood Hub.

4. Wear comfortable shoes

This a key to success for any convention, especially SXSW. Don’t depend on taxis, pedicabs or your favorite ride sharing app because when 30,000+ people descend on Austin – the availability of these resources will be few and far between. Plan on doing A LOT of walking. Comfortable footwear like sandals or flats is perfectly acceptable. In general, the SXSW dress code is business casual, leaning heavily on the casual side.

Once you set foot outside your hotel, most likely you’ll be out all day (and possibly all night). Make sure you have water, cash, business cards, phone charger and a rain jacket or umbrella. Also, check the weather. Austin is known to have heavy showers this time of year.

SXSW Convention
Image By NLintheUSA

Following these tips will help you make the most of your time, while in Austin. Be sure to check out Social Imprints at SXSW Interactive Booth 301 and keep up with all of our SXSW activities by following  @socialimprintssf  and #BrandWithPurpose.

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Have more words of wisdom to share with SXSW newbies? Feel free to share in the comments below!


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