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SXSW Survival Guide

SXSW Survival Guide

In order to prepare ourselves and others for the marathon that is SXSW (and while we’re at it, here’s an easy half marathon training program), we’ve compiled comprehensive guides for every part of the trip. Starting from three weeks out, we outlined exactly what needs to be done to ensure a successful trip to SXSW.


For the kick off we started by getting the word out about SxSocial: a great platform for getting to know people before you actually get there. This tool not only helps you make new contacts and maintain old ones, it also lets you manage your badges and book hotel reservations. Create a profile, let others know who you are and why you’ll be visiting, and stay up to date on the latest SXSW news and events.

What to Wear

Packing for a trip isn’t always easy, especially for SXSW with its many diverse events. One style of clothing isn’t going to cut it for every aspect of SXSW Interactive. Between parties and the tradeshow, you’ll be glad to have a variety of outfits at your disposal.

  • Lightweight slacks are going to be your best friend. They are comfortable in the springtime, they look professional, and can be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize.
  • Transitional pieces, like blazers and suit jackets are a lifesaver on a busy day. If your schedule is jam packed one day and you don’t think you’ll have time to go back to your hotel and change for your evening events, all it takes is a professional jacket to refine any casual getup.
  • Don’t overestimate how warm the weather will be. Though Austin will likely be much warmer than other cities, but do yourself a favor and pack light outerwear just in case. Though the days might be sunny and warm, it always cools down at night.
  • At SXSW you’re bound to be doing a lot of walking so be sure to bring comfortable, reliable shoes. Trust us, your feet will thank you.



How To Get Around

  • As a SXSW badge holder, the TMS Hotel Shuttle pass is a must have.
  • Taxi cabs are a good option if you’re a little farther offsite than usual. Within the trade show area, however, they’ll be in short supply. If you absolutely need a cab, have the front desk of your hotel call one for you. Alternatively, Pedicabsare another great way to get around.
  • Austin public transportation will be on full overdrive (pun intended) with extended schedules and routes. The Capital Metro mobile app can help you purchase tickets, plan trips, and get real-time updates.
  • Uber, the trendy car service will be working at maximum capacity. Save money and stay energy efficient by riding in style on the way to parties and events.
  • If shuttles or public transpo aren’t your thing, consider Austin B-Cycle. This is a great program for the cyclist, offering a pay-as-you-go rental bike virtually wherever and whenever you need it.


Events and Sessions

This year is chock full of great events; here’s our top picks of sessions, parties, and keynotes to keep an eye on

Notable Keynotes

  • Curious Bridges: How Designers Grow the Future
    Friday, March 13th, 2pm, Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 5.
    Investigate design’s ever-increasing influence with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA.
  • AI, Immortality and the Future of Selves
    Sunday, March 15th, 2pm, Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 5.
    Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics and New York magazine’s Lisa Miller discuss the potential of xenotransplantation, artificial intelligence, transgenderism, pharmaceutical development, space exploration, and robotics – and what they mean for humanity.




Connect With Us

Will you be at SXSW? Come down and see us at trade show booth #1554 near NASA and Startup Central. Hope to see you there!

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Photos Courtesy of Jon Jackson and Maggie Kimberl