– Have an agenda going into the conference. Ask yourself: What do I want to get out of it? and what am I going to do as followup when the party’s over?
– SXSWi experience can be divided into three types: learning, partying, connecting. Don’t stress about the first one, or you will get #tiredhead by Sunday. Don’t overdo the second one, or else you w ill get #tiredhead by Saturday. You can’t overdo the third one.
– Plan your panels, but double/triple up in case the one you are in sucks. Sit by the doors so you can escape.
– Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. You never know who you’ll meet. Hell, it could even be your next client/vendor/donor.
– Bring one of these. You will be everyone’s best friend. And if you have an iPhone, buy one of these Mophis. Now. Otherwise, your phone will be dead by 2pm.
– Track what’s going on during the conference using lanyrd.com and the #sxswi hashtag.
– Don’t stress out over making or not making a panel. Every panel has a hashtag, so if you need to catch up on one, just follow it.
– Panels are ALL OVER town. Consider renting/bringing a bike during the day. Think twice about going to a panel at the Radisson. #justsayin
– Don’t be afraid to ditch your friends. You’ll see them back at the office on Wednesday (or Thursday).
– Don’t get drunk with your company tee on. Enough said.
– Pedi-cabs are awesome, but haggle with them on price. Taxis are for fools. Don’t even think about walking.
– RSVP for every party, and then choose what you want to go to on that day. Use getwillcall.com/sxsw
– Drink lots of water. Drinks before 9pm: club soda with lime, lattes, bubble tea, always bubble tea.
– Schedule a massage for Tuesday/Wednesday. Trust us.
– Know that you are going to miss some people. Pick and choose who you want/need to talk to.
– Connect with people online before seeing them in person.And warn your Twitter friends that you will be live tweeting, so they won’t get annoyed by your feed for 4 days.
– Read this: http://www.daniellemorrill.com/2012/02/how-to-hustle-sxsw-for-fun-profit/
– Identify all the local coffee shops for a quick escape/meeting.
– For curing the inevitable Sunday hangover, try the brunch at Moonshine Grill or the Magnolia. We’ll be at Moonshine, come hell or high water.
And the most important BuzzShift tip: Connect with our team there @eddybadrina and @cgawley to meet up with us. Here is Eddy’s panel schedule, and Cameron’s is forthcoming. We would love to see you!