12 Tips To Help You Prepare For SXSW

Don’t sleep on your prep for this year’s SXSW Conference and Festival! We have our top tips and tricks to help you plan an epic trip.

  1. Plan out your schedule in advance but stay flexible! Know what you 100% want to go to and keep backups in your back pocket. You never know what exciting sessions will be announced week of or what hidden gems you’ll stumble upon. 
  2. Download the SXSW GO app! On SXSW’s app you can build your dream schedule and sync it to your favorite calendar app. They’ll give you recommendations and you can see how full the rooms are the day of.
  3. Comfy shoes are a must! Try to dress in layers for the Austin weather (chilly in AM and PM). 
  4. Be ready for a surprise camera crew to catch you in their b-roll! 
  5. Be prepared to wait in line – you will wait in line 85% of the time, but don’t give up, it’s so worth it!
  6. Bring a tote or medium-sized bag to the activations. There are events sponsored by brands surrounding SXSW. Many of these activations have giveaway items and merch. Last year Anna’s fav was a Lizzo hat!
  7. Get in line early to sessions that have a celebrity as one of the speakers. These events fill up FAST. Even consider entering the room early by sitting in on the session prior to a popular speaker.
  8. Don’t forget to enjoy the city! Try planning dinners or outings for your team to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the conference. 
  9. Stay hydrated! Bring a reusable water bottle and consider bringing a hydration multiplier like LiquidIV. Nothing ruins a conference experience like dehydration.
  10. Network! You can learn a lot from the sessions, but there are also learning opportunities from people who travel from all over the world to SXSW. Put your extrovert hat on and ask the stories of the people around you. You might just meet Selena Gomez’s team (we did!).
  11. Take advantage of SXSW assets on their web page under the “Attendee Services” section. This is the best place to get started to link your credentials and get started.
  12. Take time for yourself. Conferences can feel overwhelming with multitudes of exciting things happening every hour. Listen to your body and take breaks throughout the day as needed. Nothing is more important than taking care of you.

We hope our Freestyle-approved tips help you and your team get the most out of SXSW this year. Connect with us on social and share your own tips with us!