8 tips for a successful SXSW
2019 marks my 3rd time coming to SXSW in Austin Texas and ill tell you this is one of the most challenging conventions to attend. There are a lot of great parts but also a lot of things that can go wrong or lead to an otherwise bad time.
Have you ever had FOMO IRL? When you are at an event and either missed something that happened or just couldn’t get in! It sucks.
Or ever chase down that outlet only to have it not work…
Or just wear all the wrong clothing…
Well these tips will help you!
I sure wish knew these tips when I attended my first SX.
Tip 8: Your battery pack is liiiiiiife
Find one you can rely on (many are very shitty) you will 100% need this thing so dont leave home with out it. My favorite the Mophie Powerstation - this thing is fantastic. 2 - 3 charges per charge and never fails me.
Tip 7: Squabble clothing
You’re gonna spend a lot of time sitting, squatting, or otherwise being on the floor. Its inevitable. Wear clothing that allows you to do that with ease, and not exposing your underwear ;)
Tip 6: Eventbrite
Not all events are on the SX schedule and some you have to are gonna want to RSVP for. Get on Eventbrite and RSVP to anything that looks interesting. They are all free so there is no harm in this.
Tip 5: Find a local
Honestly this is the biggest piece of advice and its the hardest to do. But I have learned so much about how to “do” SX by befriending a local. They are able to share with you tips on shows, special parties, or things that you otherwise shouldn’t miss. Some of the items listed on this blog are tips I got from my local friends Kyle and Grant. So get social and find a local,
Tip 4: Business cards? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Seriously, just dont. Nothing ages you like trying to hand over a business card during SX (or any event for that matter). Its just not a thing I see people doing anymore.
Instead, take a photo of someones badge or just add them on linked in on the spot!
Linked in has this amazing new proximity feature called find nearby where you can add others right in your immediate vicinity. Incredibly cool.
Tip 3: Book signing event tips
If you plan to go to a book signing there is a good chance that people havent bought the book before the signing. Save yourself from the book buying line because you could miss the actual book signing! I knew I wanted to meet Amy Webb so I bought the book the day before, the day of the signing I was in line and saw lots of people in the book buying line and they may have missed the actual signing window!
Don’t risk this. Buy the book ahead of time and save yourself from at least one more line when you can.
ALSO, don’t be a creep/jerk/narcissist. Say what you want to say, get your photo and leave. Dont try to network with the author and give her/him your business card and email. There are a lot of people in line that want their book signed too. And although the author is being nice about this im sure they are just being polite and REALLY DON’T CARE. So just stop, ok?
Tip 2: Patience
This is the biggest thing, know that its going to suck. You are gonna wait in line for a very long time only to be turned away with just 3 people ahead of you. To avoid this you either have to get there ridiculously early or get very lucky.
ALWAYS have a backup talk! Mark 2 or 3 other talks in the same building or just go get your free drink at the tent outside. It sucks but now you know so plan ahead!
Oh and those SXXPress passes, they are only available the day before and are gone immediately. So thats an option but I have never gotten one…
Tip 1: Mind your breath
I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect and we all have bad breath from time to time. BUT MAN there were SO many people that I talked to or even sat next to and could smell their breath. Like that halitosis, moth ball, breath. So this last one Is just a personal pet-peeve, try harder to keep your breath in check.
Because seriously if I can smell your breath just sitting near you not talking, thats a problem!
Thanks for reading and if any of these tips were particularly helpful please write a comment below!
Till next time SXSW!