South by Southwest

South by Southwest Planning Info

Event Track / South by Southwest Planning Info

South by Southwest Planning Info

Welcome to our South by Southwest information page. Here you will find guides, articles, general information, tips and more on South by Southwest. We know South by Southwest is a big trip so our goal is to arm you with all the information you need before headed off on your trip. If you ever have specific questions not answered in our guides, or have an idea for a useful article, feel free to let me know by email at Contact@EventTrk.com. For now you can see all our articles on South by Southwest below.


South by Southwest 101 - All the general info!

South by Southwest 101 - All the general info!

Article Summary

  • South by Southwest is a huge convention held every March in Austin, TX.
  • The convention features music, movies, intellectual talks and more.
  • You must purchase a badge to attend.  There are a variety of badges depending on the type of events you want to see.
  • Staying in downtown Austin is the best option for SXSW, but be sure to book early as hotels fill up quickly.
  • Austin has limited public transportation so the closer you stay to SXSW the better 

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First Timer Tips for South by Southwest

First Timer Tips for South by Southwest

Article Summary

Heading to South by Southwest for the first time? First, I suggest you read our South by Southwest 101 page, which goes over all the basic information you need to know about South by Southwest.  You can find that article here. This article isn’t going to go over the same, generic information about South by Southwest.  This is our insider tips page, things I wish I had known before going to South by Southwest for the first time.  Think of this as passing information/pro tips to the next generation of South by Southwest first timers.  I hope after reading this and our South by Southwest 101 article you are absolutely, positively 100% ready to head off to South by Southwest and have a blast.

South by Southwest Tip #1 – Schedule, But Don’t Be a Schedule Nazi

There’s almost an overwhelming amount of things to do at South by Southwest.  There are obviously lectures, musical artists, movies, and more.  There are over 4,000 things to go see at SXSW!  You don’t want to get to South by Southwest and have no idea what you want to go see.  Do your research and figure out what is important for you to see.  At the same time, don’t schedule too much to do.  You aren’t going to end up doing everything you plan, but that’s ok.  Part of the fun of SXSW is getting to wander and see something you didn’t really plan on seeing.

South by Southwest Tip #2 – Plan to Bring Home Swag

SXSW hands out a lot of swag over the course of the events. Make sure you leave some room in your suitcase for all the SXSW goodies you are going to get to bring home with you from Austin.

South by Southwest Tip #3 – Get The App

SXSW has an app that you can download for free to your smartphone and it’s pretty outstanding.  It let’s you schedule what you want to see, view maps of the area, see who is attending your event, and a lot more.  It is definitely worth a download.

South by Southwest Tip #4 – Pack Appropriately

SXSW has a huge variety of events – everything from networking opportunities to some great concerts.  This means you need to pack a suit so you look like a real adult, and some comfortable sneakers for the times you are going to be on your feet a lot.  Be sure to pack everything you will need for the events you are planning to attend.

South by Southwest Tip #5 – Know How You Are Getting Around

SXSW in held in Austin, which is great for a lot of things but transportation isn’t one of them.  If you are staying in downtown Austin you should be able to walk everywhere, but still have a plan for how you are going to get around, especially if you aren’t in downtown Austin.  Most of the big hotels in Austin will be within walking distance of SXSW so you should have no problems.

South by Southwest Tip #6 – Check The Weather Before Packing

Texas in March can be hot and humid or cold and rainy.  Make sure you check the weather before heading off to Austin for SXSW.

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SXSW Tickets: Information, Cost, When They Go On Sale & More

SXSW Tickets: Information, Cost, When They Go On Sale & More

Article Summary

South by Southwest (SXSW) can be a little intimidating: there is just so much going on. Even writing this article I am a little overwhelmed: there’s obviously a ton of music, educational talks, tech talks, and on and on. South by Southwest has evolved into a massive event lasting weeks now. It’s not your normal event you simply purchase passes for and attend. This article is going to try to clear up everything you need to know with South by Southwest tickets: how much they cost, how they work, when they go on sale, and do you even need a badge. Let’s start with the basics.

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Where in Austin to Stay for South By Southwest (SXSW)

Where in Austin to Stay for South By Southwest (SXSW)

Article Summary

One of the main advantages of getting an official SXSW badge is access to official SXSW Housing and Travel. This is basically Austin hotels offering discounted rates for people who are attending the actual convention. Hotels offer discounted rates for stays beginning March 14th and last through the entire convention. If you have a badge this is the best way for you to book your SXSW hotel – it is highly unlikely you find better rates at the participating hotels through Priceline, Hotels.com or another travel website. The hotels are still expensive through South By Southwest, but it is better than if you were booking on your own. So in summary if you have a badge snag your hotel through here, if not then you have some work to do to find a deal

Hotels Tips for People Without a SXSW Badge

So admittedly it’s harder to find a deal for SXSW if you don’t have a badge. Here is my biggest advice if this is your situation:

  • Book Early: The earlier you book, the better a deal you are likely to find. I know sometimes hotel prices drop last minute but this isn’t one of those situations, and we have the data to prove it. Below you can see the average hotel price in Austin for SXSW for SXSW 2017. Prices remained fairly steady until a couple months out of SXSW where they absolutely skyrocketed. Also keep in mind this data takes into account hotels across Austin, not just Downtown. Downtown hotels filled up quite quickly, so if you want the best price and best location book early. If you want more useful data and hotel info I highly suggest you check out our SXSW Hotels Page.

    SXSW Hotel Prices

  • Cost vs. Convenience: The SXSW hotel basically comes down to prioritizing either convenience or how much money you spend. Everyone wants to stay in Downtown Austin for easy access to the convention, shows, nightlife and more. This makes staying there the most expensive option as well. If you aren’t concerned about money then Downtown Austin is where you want to be. If you need to save money I suggest you look outside of the Downtown area, but at a hotel with a good transportation option such as the SXSW Shuttle.

  • Airbnb Is an Option: Austin during SXSW is a great time to also look into Airbnb. It will also be expensive, but you can find better rates than the hotel. It’s also a nice option for if you have a group and can split a large house or apartment, which is often cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

  • Know your Transportation Situation: Austin public transportation is not great admittedly. I would have a clear plan on how you are going to get to Downtown Austin before booking anything outside of the immediate Downtown (walkable) area. The vast majority of events going on during SXSW, whether it is concerts, parties or movies, will be happening in Downtown Austin.

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Tips on What To Bring With You to South By Southwest (SXSW)

Tips on What To Bring With You to South By Southwest (SXSW)

Article Summary

If you are going to South By Southwest you should take some time to properly plan what you are going to bring with you. Knowing a few small, key items to bring can make a huge difference in your SXSW trip. This is our definitive guide on everything you need to bring with you to Austin for SXSW to have a blast.

Note: SXSW does offer lockers if you do want to bring a lot of stuff with you and your hotel is far away – it’s a nice option if you want to bring rain gear or other necessities just in case.

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