SXSW Interactive: Practical Advice for Attending

Posted by on February 20, 2014

Like many interactive marketers, I’ve spent some time the past few weeks researching sessions, events and parties for SXSW Interactive. Sure, it’s going to be a learning and social experience to remember, but what I really appreciate is some of the more practical advice I’ve read. The type of info I can share with my Marketwave colleagues to make our Austin adventure more enjoyable.

I particularly like this acronym I’ve seen used a few times, ABC (always be charging). Sounds like a good idea. In fact, my Amazon order of a portable backup iPhone and iPad charger arrives tomorrow. Actually, I ordered three chargers; I figured it would be nice to give my Marketwave colleagues a new tool to embrace the ABC approach.

Downloading the SXSW app from iTunes seems like a must to manage your schedule, navigate sessions and connect with peers. Using the app to navigate the exhibitors seems very useful; there are several vendors I want to seek out, but don’t necessarily want to spend hours roaming the exhibit hall looking for them.

And the last bit of practical advice, go with the flow. As someone who likes to organize and plan everything, I have a hard time thinking how I’ll go with the flow of tens of thousands of people, but I’ll try. I keep imagining one of those public transportation scenes where you end up on the wrong train because the crowd just took you there. My carefully researched sessions, time tracking and mapping techniques may all go to the wayside if something more interesting comes along. It’s hard to say it, but I think I’m ok with that!

Any SXSWi veterans out there who have helpful tips to share? Be sure to follow my Tweets while you’re there. I look forward to continuing the discussion after returning from Austin.

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