Tips for your first SXSW trip

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

So you’re a SXSW newbie? Welcome to the club!

SXSW 2011

If this is your first time going to South by Southwest, you’re in for a treat. This conference is like none other!

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts:

  • Do wear some very comfortable walking shoes, you’ll be on your feet all day.

  • Do not bring every piece of technology that you own, you won’t use anything other than your cell phone

  • Do bring a charger and an extra phone if you have it. I went through two phones every day and still needed more juice.

  • Do not try to do everything, you’ll wear yourself out and drive yourself crazy.

  • Do not be afraid of leaving a panel discussion, unless you’re on the panel. If it sucks, it sucks. Go find something else.

SXSW 2011

_ I left this discussion, it was awful, and the first one I went to!_

* Do not stick just to your 'course.' If you're a journalist, explore other areas. If you're in healthcare, check out the government track.

* Do bring an extra big messenger bag or backpack for all the free schwag you want to score. Everyone will be giving out something.

* Do talk to as many people as possible. Don't be intimidated by anyone. They're just like us. Except for the robots.

* Do leave time for serendipitous meetups and hangouts. If someone makes an offer, take them up on it.

SXSW 2011

* There will be a TON OF PEOPLE THERE. Don't let it get to you, just go with the flow!

SXSW 2011

* Ask lots of questions, even dumb ones. Last year during a discussion on open data in Texas, I asked "Do you have any data sets on Chuck Norris? The panelist replied: "Chuck Norris cannot be contained to a data set.

I met someone famous!

  • Meet someone famous! Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll never know who might sit down right beside you!