Tips To Survive And Thrive At SxSW Interactive

Lynne Johnson, Corvida, Wayne Sutton, Brett Petersel, Sarah Townsend - SXSW
Image Credit: Brian Solis

Last year I wrote about 8 Mobile Tools To Help You Keep Up With SxSW Like A Pro. This year I’m adding a few more tips, apps, and gadgets to the list.

Keeping up with SxSW is an art that I’ve been learning to master for 3 years. You want to talk to everyone (or at least I do), you want to party, and you want learn something from the panels. You may even have to work during SxSW.  Here are some old and new tricks I use to maximize my time at SxSW.

Carry a Charger at All Times

I remember Wayne Sutton making (ABC) during my first SxSW. There aren’t enough outlets in Austin for all the geeks and their gadgets. If your phone is notorious for bad battery life, keep a back-up charger on you at all times or get a Mophie Juice Pack. Just remember to keep that charged too!

Bring a Wifi-Hotspot

Cellphone coverage is notoriously spotty at SxSW. Grab yourself a wifi-hotspot like Verizon’s Mifi or Sprint’s Overdrive. They’re small (credit card small), get great speeds, and could give you a little extra boost when internet failure hits SxSW. The internet will collapse at some point during SxSW.

Use Plancast, Instagram, Foursquare, and #SxSW on Twitter To Track Activities

If you’re interested in what everyone is doing, saying, or seeing at any given moment at SxSW, these are the four sites you’ll need, especially Foursquare. Plancast is another great service for seeing what events are going on at SxSW and who’s coming.

Dress Comfortably

The Convention Center that SxSW is held in is big. You’re going to be walking for miles weather you know it or not. People will also drag you off blocks away from everyone for one party or another. Be prepared to run back to panels you don’t want to miss. And yes, Converse sneakers are still the shoe to beat for a conference like SxSW.

Have a Contacts Game PlanUse Bump for Contacts

SxSW is great for networking, but business cards are overwhelming thanks to the vast amount of people that attend SxSW. There are simpler ways of remembering conference contacts.

I used Bump this year because it’s free, works with iPhone and Android phones, and keeps a history of who I “bumped” and when. As soon as I bump someone, their contact info is automatically added into my iPhone contacts. Bump also lets me customize what type of information I’m giving to people by allowing multiple business cards to be created.

A sweet spot for a blogger like me is being able to bump apps. I’m sure there will be plenty of app pitches and recommendations going around. I’ll be ready to collect them with Bump.

Have Fun!

Keeping these tips in mind will help you have a great and less stressful time at  SxSW. Enjoy yourself and don’t fret over what you miss. Enjoy that you made it to SxSW!

Have you mastered the SxSW experience? Leave a comment below with your SxSW tip!

Image Credit: Brian Solis

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on