More Tips & Guides for #SXSW

Keeping Austin Kinky Sign

For an Updated SXSW Guide feel free to visit our Unofficial SXSW Guide over at Limonade Inc. 

I know there are multiple guides to SXSW (South by Southwest) but since I always plan ahead my days in Austin, I am sharing a few things I found useful and might be useful to you. (Last update March 3, 2013 7:14 PM AST)

Quick Summary

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico


Getting the best SXSW Experience

During 2011 and 2012 the two occasions I attended SXSWi I quickly learned that to make the best of your SXSW experience you have to be agile and also go with the flow of what is happening around you. The first year I missed a few sessions the second session I missed even more for mainly the same reason. So many conversations start and where initiated with people that shared common interests.

When you have the opportunity to talk with individuals like Tony Hsieh, Gary Vaynerchuk, C.C. Chapman, Julien Smith, Steve Garfield, Wayne Kurtzman, and Guy Kawasaki even if it is for a few minutes or seconds it might be worth skipping a session or two. This year I am planning to make sure I get to a few more sessions than last year so I am following C.C. Chapman’s advice on planning ahead of time for the conference.

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Getting my Copy of Thank You Economy Directly from Gary V.

My Version of the Rule of Three

During the 5 days I think I will stick with my version of the Rule of Three that I learned on a post by the Austin Eavesdropper. I will attend at least one Session I want to go too, one meet-up, and one Party. I have to say I will try to stick to this one this year. Do you have a plan or strategy?  I will keep my simple since doing things in threes makes it easier to handle.

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Gowalla Air Stream SXSW – 2011

3 Parties I would like to Attend

There are plenty of Parties and Meetups I have created my list of 3 parties (down from last year’s 5) I want to go to. I am sure once I am their I get to decide where else I will go.

Resources to find other parties.

Places to Eat at SXSW

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

At 2011 Gowalla Party with Twitter’s Director of API Ryan Sarver.

If your not vegan their will be plenty of places to eat here are a few inexpensive options if you will be on the go. A few resources to find where to eat.

If you are Vegan and Vegetarian like me these might be helpful.
I can only hope that this year the Whole Foods Truck is serving great healthy options.

How to connect with People

There are multiple ways for you to connect while at the conference.


Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

I met the great & always helpful Wayne Kurtzman at 2011 SXSW GoWalla Party.

Google Plus

Last year in 2012 Google Plus helped me to meet new people and keep track of those that where at #SXSW. I created a circle last year and I am currently building a 2013 one. So if you are going feel free to comment with your Google + profile link so I can include you.

Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter took off when it was initially used at #SXSW. The first year I got some great advice on creating a query of people around the SXSW Venues Zip Code to keep track of conversations of those chatting about #SXSW around me. Advanced Twitter

If you click the image above you can easily get a link to the twitter advanced search with the Hashtag #SXSW from people tweeting within 10 miles of Austin. If you want to customize it a bit more feel free to go to Twitter’s Advanced Search and choose the options that fit your needs.

Twitter Lists

Another option is creating a list of people that you want to connect with at SXSW. I try to update that list once I meet someone so I can connect with them again during the conference. If you know of any lists feel free to share with me in the comments area. Here is a list of  people I have met during the SXSWi conference.


There will be various HIRLs (Hangout in Real Life) these are meetups where instead of hanging out via Google Plus you will meet people who mainly use the Google+ platform in real life


Lanyrd will help find twitter contacts that will be at the conference attending and/or speaking. Might be a great opportunity to get to know any twitter contacts you have not met in real life yet.

Stop and jump into the conversation

My first year I learned a few things from Pablo Tirado who will be assisting this year too. He would connect with people on the street.  One of my favorite places know people I did the same at the Samsung bloggers lounge last year where I got to meet some awesome people like Pamela Hernandez, Nicole Simon, Hugh Macleod, Steve Garfield, and Jonathan Brewer. I met the creative minds of Lanyrd Natalie and Simon while waiting to be seated at the Iron Cactus.

What to do if arriving Early?

The first year I arrived a day before which helped me get my badge without a huge line. This year as I did last year will get their two days before. Make sure I get some rest from my long flight, get lost in Downtown Austin, and meet up with early arrivers. Here are two events on the day before the SXSW Interactive starts:

First Timer

I can relate very well with how overwhelming it can be to a first timer to absorb the Chaos activity. I wrote a post on my experience last year and what do expect. But on the other side I compare this experience as to when I was going to Boot Camp in Fort Knox Kentucky when I joined the army no matter how much advice other veterans and soldier sgave me it was an overwhelming first few weeks. To make sure you enjoy the most of the conference try to pick up your badge as early as possible and register your information on the site so the process is faster and you don’t have to wait in line for hours. Picture of SXSW interactive Some Tips on Preparing:

Must Have apps for SXSW?

I caught a pretty awesome list via Google Plus by Barry Teoh where even Robert Scoble chipped in a few ideas and suggestions. Here is the G+ post (updated) and below is the list of the new apps I found interesting (see the full list here). Last year I had also created a post on apps that I will try to update in the coming days.

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

I had the privilege of meeting Natalie & Simon Founders of

Social Sharing/Discovery


See Full list curated by Barry Teoh

Gadgets that will make your Life Easier

I will be creating a future post on gadgets that make my life easier during the conference. If you want to share a few feel free to add them below or contact me directly. If you want to receive the future Gadgets that will make your life easier at SXSW post directly into your email inbox please sign up to my email Newsletter.

Other Guides and Posts that might help you get ready.




Neat SXSW Info-Graphics

10 Things do to by Edelman Digital at SXSW

Although as a responsible Vegan I recommend staying away from #2 maybe substitute it with having a Vegan Lunch with your Vegetarian and Vegan friends sounds a lot more inclusive than leaving your vegan friends out. Source Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Don’t Text and Walk while at #SXSW

I do see this often at conferences but in SXSW some people don’t really enjoy their surrounding and are too busy tweeting, texting, or emailing away. Chris Yates shared the following funny video created by him and the team at Huddle Productions. Take a look at it if you think it is funny just relax for a few minutes while at the conference and observer those around you that can’t disconnect from their phone.

Don’t Become a Business Card Ninja

The only individual that looks cool flipping business cards is the following guy in the video. If you don’t have his skills then I highly recommend you only share your business cards if someone actually requests one. Even then I would try to look at some cards that allow people to get to know you better like the Meet-Meme Cards.

Any others we should add?

What is your plan?

Feel free to add me on Google+ or twitter @rj_c and let me know if you will be at SXSW.


  1. Esteban Contreras on March 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    One more resource