Saddle Up! Your Guide to a Successful Festival

SXSW Interactive has benefitted from tremendous growth since its debut back in 1994. Reports claim that last year alone, the annual Festival attracted 32,800 people from around the world. We’ve compiled a list for first-timers, chocked full of best practices from our experience so you remain sheltered with a taco in one hand and business card in the other – all without missing a single beat.

  1. Build out your professional profile and take advantage of the SXSocial Directory. Free with Interactive/Film/Music/Gold/Platinum registration, this platform allows you to search for colleagues and message or connect with friends.
  2. Arrange your schedule well in advance. This will serve as a point of reference for when all your plans go awry. Plus, new venues are making it necessary to take into consideration travel time to and from sessions.
  3. Download the AirBnB app on iTunes or Android. Just. In. Case.
  4. Enter a non-committal relationship with a good mix. May we suggest this one? Or better yet, return home with the freshest tracks by creating your own Spotify or Rdio playlist.
  5. Invest in a reliable phone charger. We love a good freebee, too, but your phone will inevitably die. We like Goal Zero.
  6. Sign up for RSVPster and download the Eventbrite app (iPhone or Android) to organize your invites. Organization is key.
  7. While you’re planning ahead, satisfy your insatiable appetite for anything food related by browsing the Southbites Trailer Park vendors here and check out the conference lineup here. Highlights include Travel Channel host, Andrew Zimmern, Bon Apetit Editor in Chief, Adam Rapoport, and Chef David Chang, Founder of the Momofuku restaurant group.
  8. Stock up on business cards. Pass them out Regina-George style or go paperless and swap cards electronically like Alma.
  9. Get out of town, literally, by visiting Austin’s top sites like Longhorn Caverns or Hamilton Pool.
  10. Unless you’re attending SXstyle, dress comfortably. Historically speaking, the weather averages in the mid-60s to low-70s, but the weather is ultimately an unpredictable force of nature. Lucky for you, overcrowding in most places will make it difficult to see your lower half.
  11. Download the SXSW GO app featuring iBeacon technology to better help you stay informed with your immediate surroundings.
  12. Overwhelmed yet? See a comprehensive breakdown of the week’s biggest events including SXsports Sessions, SX Create, SXSW Comedy, SXSW sanctioned parties and award shows here: http://sxsw.com/schedule
  13. Visit SXSW’s First-Timers Guide for more information and tips.

Now, go forth and revel in the technology of tomorrow!

Regina Chung Loy Communications Associate North America