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The advanced guide for surviving SXSW




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Entrepreneur will be on site at SXSW . Come back for updates on the latest news and trends and insights from opinion leaders and innovators.

Many people like to share tips for the survival of SXSW, the annual tech, music and film festival that starts this week in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, many of these articles say somewhat obvious things (bring an umbrella! Wear comfortable shoes! Have an extra charger!).

I assume that you are an adult and that you can sort something out yourself. That will pave the way for these tips from experienced visitors who know where to go, how things should be done and how they can really get the most out of the wonderful and chaotic event that SXSW is.

Related: How to survive SXSW

Admit that you need help.
With more than 1

,100 official events only at SXSW Interactive, it is not easy to keep track of where you said you will be. Even if you have connected everything to your Google calendar, it can eventually look like a war zone, says Rebekah Iliff, an exec at technology platform AirPR. Her solution is old-fashioned with a modern twist: a virtual assistant. This person can do anything to keep her organized, which Iliff calls her "central command". (If a virtual assistant is not listed, the official SXSW app will help you keep track of events, navigate through Austin, and sync to your other devices.)

Arrange pedi booths in advance .
Did you not know that you could do that? Now it is. When even Lyft and Uber urge you to share rides, you know that transportation is a challenge in Austin. While attending SXSW, Shoshana Bennett of virtual worker company Zirtual rents out pedicabs and text messages to the company when it needs to be picked up. this service, but we have found that MetroCycleLab also lets you reserve a driver and there are probably others when you ask and negotiate. (She also suggests hiring Courier Depot if you need to pick something up or drop it off. That has nothing to do with pedicabs, but I thought I'd mention it).

Related: SXSW Keynote offers advice to become discoverable

Remember: it's all about you.
Companies are fighting for your attention, so make sure you take advantage. After all, isn't that what other people are for ?

  • No more business cards? TaskRabbit will bring you a new one, printed by Moo. (The tickets get a discount and delivery is free)
  • Hungry? Kevin Yu, CEO and founder of the cooking app Sidechef, says his company will travel the area to bring the tired and hungry much needed protein bars.
  • Do you cut yourself in sight without a first aid kit? Just tweet your suffering to @ 3M and the company brings you a link (or other 3M product) to get you back on track.
  • Do you need a custom manicure? Of course you do that. You can find them in Brazos Hall.
  • Honesty St. Bernards brings you a Mophie charger when your phone is nearly empty.

Credit image: Moo

Getting fit in the SXSW way .
You just have to take time for yourself. Fortunately you have many options.

Rest, silence and a drink for adults.
Alcohol is abundantly present at SXSW, but that is not always quiet. Try Buffalo Billiards for something off the beaten track, recommends Benjamin Goodman, a product and strategy exec on the social content platform Heard. He says you will find a hodgepodge of residents, tired execs, drunkards, filmmakers and SXSW attendees who play everything from pool to shuffleboard and that it is the "hidden gem of 6 th Street."

Have an escape route.
There is life outside of Austin. Serious.

Bennett suggests a relaxing walk while Zach Cohen, COO of digital marketplace Holonis, encourages you to book a blissful Caribbean cruise for the day after the show. When he has that in place, he says, "makes it easier to control the chaos" of returning to work after the big event.

What are we missing? Share the tip or trick that helps you control SXSW in the comments below.


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