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Ultimate Guide to SXSW 2014

Ultimate Guide to SXSW 2014

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Published by Gina Smith
An excellent, curated guide to SXSW 2012 from Webbmedia. Heading to Austin? Check out this doc -- and say hi to aNewDomain.
An excellent, curated guide to SXSW 2012 from Webbmedia. Heading to Austin? Check out this doc -- and say hi to aNewDomain.

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Categories:Types, Maps
Published by: Gina Smith on Mar 04, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Webbmedia Group’s  5th Annual Curated Guide to SXSW 
March 2014
webbmediagroup.com | @webbmediagroup
Every year, Webbmedia Group combs through the SXSW conference lineup and selects speakers, screenings, workshops and panel sessions that we think are the most relevant to/ interesting for our clients. You’ll find the day, date, time, name of session, location and a reason why we think you should attend.SXSWi is a massive festival, bringing together bright minds in digital media, technology, journalism, health, film, space, business, gaming and more. (And that’s before the Music side of the festival launches.) With hundreds of sessions, parties and meetups spread across dozens of venues around Austin, it can be difficult to navigate. We’ve included a short synopsis, key logistical details and the reason why we think you should attend. Webbmedia Group will be on-site throughout SXSW interactive. If you’d like to meet with us, or if you’d like for us to facilitate introductions to startups or other presenters, please contact our office: 267-342-4300 or sxsw@webbmediagroup.com. See you in Austin!
webbmediagroup.com | @webbmediagroup
 How to Survive SXS
This is the 28th anniversary of the conference, and the 21st anniversary year of the Interactive festival.If you haven’t already made hotel reservations, plan to rent a car and stay in West Texas – everything’s been booked for months. This year, expect fewer panel sessions (there are still a few hundred), 300 trade show booths and 30,000 Interactive conference attendees. Make sure to complete your online social profile so that you can connect with other attendees...but mainly so that you can get through registration faster.Avoid the crowds: get to registration right when it opens or much later in the early evening. You’ll get a bunch of stuff, including a well-designed bag, at registration. The most important piece of information in that bag is the venue map. Take a few minutes to orient yourself and to figure out which venue is where.The weather dictates a lot at SXSW. If it rains, expect sessions to be absolutely packed and difficult to get into. This year for the first time, to help with crowding, priority seating is being offered to some of the panels (see below). We recommend bringing a raincoat that you can fold and keep in your bag.The Hilton lobby is a good place to hang out and meet other entrepreneurs and funders. That said, seating is always extremely limited. If you need to have some business meetings, pick a restaurant or a bar instead. If you don’t make a plan for SXSW, you’ll return home, hear a bunch of great stories and wonder which conference you went to by mistake. Decide on a few panels and a few parties each day. Get to the sessions you really want to see early, and make sure you’re on RSVP lists. For parties, check Eventbrite for a good list of what’s available by searching SXSW in Austin. Twenty minutes of planning will help ensure that you have a great festival.Plan your meals in early. There are lots and lots of great restaurants within walking distance, but they’re going to either be crowded or booked for a private SXSW event. Don’t plan your big Iron Works BBQ outing for noon on Saturday. Pick off-peak times for meals. If all else fails, the Hilton’s coffee shop has great breakfast tacos -- and they usually stock extras to last until mid-afternoon.As you’re probably now realizing, much of the action takes place at the parties. You can certainly try to show up and get in to parties once you’re in Austin, but it’s much better if you arrange to get on the guest lists well in advance. The Austin airport is relatively small. You’ll need extra time to get through TSA than you might expect as you catch your flight home. Pro tip: you’ll find excellent food at the airport, including BBQ. Don’t sound like a tourist. Veterans call the conference “Southby.”Speaking of tourists...SXSW is great for the city of Austin, but it’s also a big disruption for the folks who live and work there year-round. Be kind to the locals and treat your host city well.

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