Here at Statesman Media, we’re thrilled to be attending our best Austin festival of the year – South by Southwest. Six members of our team will be learning, sharing, networking and enjoying the 9-day festival centered around technology, innovation and arts. Be on the lookout for tweets and posts! (@Statesman_Media) We have some SXSW veterans, so we thought we’d share some tips and tricks for our fellow SX attendants this year.
Figuring Out Your Schedule
Your starting point should of course be the SXSW.com website and 2018 SXSW app. Navigating these online schedules may seem daunting, but there are some ways that should make it easier. For example, within SXSW Interactive, they have a variety of tracks, including Brands & Marketing and Design. That’s an easy way to start filtering the massive amounts of sessions. Of course you can filter by day and venue as well. If there is speaker, company or event, use the search bar!
I personally tend to get the most out of solo or dual sessions rather than panels and meetups. These allow the speaker(s) to own the stage and really talk about their passions and ideas with the structure they see most fit.
Nothing is too far away, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there, since there’s generally lines. If it’s a very popular event, you’ll likely need to get there VERY early, as they do have to turn people away if it looks like they’re meeting occupancy limits. This year, SXSW is adopting the traffic-light system to indicate your odds of getting in. Red: full, Yellow: hurry if you want to still make it, Green: plenty of room! They’ve done this for Film in the past, but it’ll be used for Interative too.
Remember, you won’t be able to see and get into everything you want, so try not to get too disappointed. Walk around, network, grab a bite and check out the exhibit halls for cool demonstrations.
What to Wear
HIGHLY recommend comfortable shoes first and foremost! Remember, Austin prides itself on being comfy-casual with style. The forecast looks like it’ll be warm and sunny. You’ll likely be going inside and out and walking a ton, so think about that when getting ready for the day!
What to Bring
Remember, the more things you bring, the more things you have to carry and the more things that can get lost or stolen. You’ll also be carrying the free swag you pick up along the way. Pack light, but smart.
- There’s a lotof walking, so we recommend a backpack.
- The conference rooms tend to get cold, so a light jacket or sweater.
- Obviously, your phone and charger.
- Lastly, your note-taking device, be it tablet, notebook or stickies.
That’s all you really need. Honest! Of course, you may want an umbrella/rain jacket if it looks like showers. We recommend business cards. It’s nice having one of those little portable chargers. Chapstick, sunscreen, earplugs, a hat. Again, the more you bring, the bigger the pain.
But specifically, what are we most looking forward to?
2018 Emerging Tech Trends Report
Tech & Humanity: Embedding Empathy in Experience
Facebook IQ: The 5 Consumer Shifts Shaping 2020
Accidentally Making the Most Popular Podcasts Ever
Creating Your Social Media Strategy
People to see:
One thing we love about SXSW is seeing some industry levels and celebs. Who are we excited to see this year? Bernie Sanders, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Spike Lee, Sadiq Khan, Lexi Lawless, Mark Hamill, Alex Rodriguez and New Friends.
What about South by are you most excited about?