We’re excited to be heading to Austin next month, where we’ll be joining the fun at SXSW Interactive 2014. All the action can get overwhelming, though. Here are some tips we’ve found helpful in making the most out of the trip.

We’re not going to lie. We’re pretty excited to be sponsoring SXSW this year, where professionals from music, film, comedy, and the interactive community will all be gathered. It’s become a premiere industry event, and a place to interact with creatives in all areas.

It can be a little overwhelming if you’re planning your first trip. If you’re a SXSW rookie, don’t sweat it – we’ve all been there. Let us help you out with a few solid tips to get you through:

1. Plan Ahead

Determine your panels, talks and parties before you arrive. Once you get there you’ll hit a wall of craziness and it will be hard to focus. Don’t forget to write it down!

2. Show up early.

Be early for everything. You’ll be fighting crowds the entire time and space is limited – just because you RSVP doesn’t mean you’re getting in, so the earlier the better.

3. Pace yourself.

Most parties will have an open bar so, if you’re drinking, be sure to pace yourself. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, have something else in your hand (Texas loves sweet tea). That way, you won’t even get offered a drink.

4. Stay hydrated.

With all the open bars and miles of walking you will do, make sure you are well hydrated so you don’t crash or get sick. Pack some vitamins or vitamin-C packets.

5. Wear comfortable shoes.

Whether you’re walking somewhere or standing in a line, you’ll be amazed how long you go without sitting. Bring a pair of good shoes, or at the very least a pair of good insoles.

6. Have back-up batteries.

Power outlets are gold and hard to find. More charging stations are popping up, but you don’t want to be tethered to one area. Invest in a mobile case that charges your phone, or a USB battery pack. At the very least, hook your cell up to your laptop and throw it in your computer bag. If your phone dies, you’re going to miss out on something.

7. Food, food, food.

Austin is known for amazing barbecue and food trucks. Planning your meals is almost as important as planning your sessions and parties. Make sure you check out foursquare and Yelp and map out the best places to eat out while at SXSW.

8. Keep up with the action


The social buzz around SXSW is crazy, and we’ve created an app to help you sift through the noise. It’s called Round-up – it’ll keep you up on the latest SXSW social trends and gives you a curated list of events based on the top trending conversations.