I am looking forward to attending SXSW in Austin next weekend. I have attended this conference for the past 6 years and wanted to give a few quick tips for anyone who may be attending for the first time.
Preparing in advance:
- If you know you are definitely going, try to get the best rate by registering as far in advance as possible
- Hotels get booked very far in advance, so booking early is a good idea
- Of course car rental applies to the early advice as well
- Search plancast and eventbrite for SXSW Events and also make sure to look at the invites into your email box
- The registration process has become very streamlined
- 3 things to do - Join the SXSW social, upload the video, print your registration code in case your phone runs out of battery, get the badge as early as possible
Things to pack:
- Shoes - along with your elegant party shoes , please pack some very comfortable
- Bags- As you will do a lot of walking your handbag should have enough place for a quick freshen up and your evening shoes. If you like swag, your backpack should have space for that as well
- Even if you dont believe in business cards, carrying them is a good idea
- Hydration- Carry a water bottle that you can fill up at every water fountain
- Spare battery, power cords and mobile essentials. of course you need not only the mobile phone but your spare tablet
Planning your activity:
- SXSW is rich in content - prepare for the absolute few sessions that you want to attend
- Events take place all around downtown Austin so be ready for a commute and allow enough time. Even if it is in the convention center, it could be a long walk.
- Give yourself a lot of time between sessions and hydrate and relax
- There is a lot of marketing activity outside the convention center. Dont miss out
- Use the opportunity to make serendipitous connections
- Evening there are parties and also events that have speakers and parties
Here is a list of all lounges that you can go to relax http://sxsw.com/lounges , you will defintely be able to meet me at the SXSW PayPal Social Media Lounge hosted by techSet.