Help a SXSW noob
March 1, 2011 1:33 PM   Subscribe

What are your best SXSW Interactive tips for a first-time attendee?

I'm going to SXSW Interactive. I've never been; I'm a little overwhelmed by all the sessions and events. Can you give me your best survival tips/things not to miss/things to avoid at all costs? Possibly relevant facts:
  • Work is paying for it, so I'd like to be able to come back with more than just "wow, that was awesome".
  • I'm a little introverted; anything to help me ease in without requiring introducing myself to strangers in bars is appreciated.
  • I am aware of and planning to attend the MeFi meetup.
  • Even silly detail like what to wear is helpful, I can overthink anything.
    posted by donnagirl to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
    Best answer: My friend Brad just wrote a great article about that.

    My personal pointers are: Don't bother with the big parties, be brave and introduce yourself to lots of people, and wear lots of layers. Warm in the day, cold at night.
    posted by Andrhia at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2011

    Go early, stay late, be loud.
    posted by jchaw at 1:39 PM on March 1, 2011

    If you would like to go to parties, start RSVPing right now. Like, right now.

    *Sched seems like a great tool to plan out your days and evenings.

    Do not get a hotel that is like 10 miles outside of the city. It absolutely will take you an hour or more to get into or out of Austin. And cabs are a nightmare. (If you do end up booked far away, the shuttle service is pretty good.)

    Bring a sweater.

    Take your time and try to relax a little. You don't have to see everything. Triage, prioritize.

    Tweet a lot. Blog a lot. Video a lot. Your bosses will love that.
    posted by functionequalsform at 2:43 PM on March 1, 2011

    Wow, Brad's article pretty much covers it. The dressing in layers and good walking shoes tips are paramount.

    Oh, and even if you're not going to be presenting, bring your laptop's VGA adapter - you might just be some panelist's personal hero!
    posted by alienzero at 2:43 PM on March 1, 2011

    Comfortable shoes. Anything else is secondary.
    posted by Addlepated at 5:57 PM on March 1, 2011

    It's all pretty laid back - just hang out and have a good time. The Frog Design opening night party is open to all and a good time. Don't plan too much in advance.
    posted by spilon at 8:56 PM on March 1, 2011

    Response by poster: Andrhia, that article was exactly what I needed, thanks! Relax and wear good shoes, that seems like the consensus here, and that's something I can definitely do. Thanks, everyone.
    posted by donnagirl at 2:54 PM on March 2, 2011

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