Why do more than 25,000 people pack their bags and make the pilgrimage to Austin, TX every Spring? For the tech coming-of-age party/festival called South by Southwest Interactive, of course!

SXSW Interactive, specifically and/or more affectionately known as “South By” or SXSWi, is one third of the SXSW Festival that focuses on emerging technology. Back in 1987, SXSW was just a music fest, but Film and Interactive didn’t follow far behind., according to their web site, SXSWi “has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.”

Now in its 20th year, this year’s festival spans five days (March 8th-12th) and is comprised of “compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show, and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer.”

Essentially, the whirlwind of a festival is a massive conglomerate of educational, branding, marketing, PR and networking opportunities for you and/or your business, and, it’s what they designate an “inspiration overload.”

Planning for SXSW Interactive
Ready to saddle up? Whoa now… Ask any SXSW Interactive veteran and they’ll tell you it’s too late. You’ve got to start planning for next year, now! But, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered because the Skadeedle team will be taking it to the streets, the sessions and the parties (the things we do for this job) to report on the latest and greatest SXSWi happenings. We’ll supply you with live blog posts, news, check-ins and Pinterest boards aplenty bringing you all the action from the South By trenches.

So whether you’re attending, exhibiting, speaking, or riding shotgun with the Skadeedle crew at SXSW Interactive, the festival proves to be a valuable, educational, and networking event. It’ll leave you with endless ideas, contacts, insight and knowledge (especially for next year) that could greatly benefit your business. If you’re lucky enough to make the trip, take note of some wise last-minute advice for your journey:

  • ABC – Always be charging. Bring your tech devices a plenty and plug in when you can to recharge, so you’ll never miss a moment
  • Bring comfortable shoes, socks and Band-Aids (for blisters), as there will be A LOT of walking
  • Don’t be shy – Introduce yourself and meet lots of people
  • Pre-plan out some events, sessions and/or parties, but otherwise, try to “go with the flow”
  • Pace yourself (see parties above)
  • Eat a lot of BBQ
  • Stay hydrated
  • Take notes and pictures, check in, tweet and blog about what you learn
  • Pack: chargers, batteries, portable wifi, earplugs, business cards, schwag, vitamins, hand sanitizer, patience and a good sense of humor
  • Most importantly, have fun and learn a lot!
  • Get 8 more SXSW tips here.

Stay tuned for more SXSW action soon.

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