We’re happy to announce that name.com will be at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. It’s a big event. It’s so big that if you’re not prepared your trip could explode into an all-out cluster where you end up like Waldo in one of those crowded pictures but drunk and wondering where your shoes are. We’re certain that at some point during the festival you will have earned some shoeless inebriation, but first experience and wisdom of veteran #SXSW attendees who have shared Tips, Tricks and Otherwise Sanity Saving Advice!
Oh, and because it’s such an awesome time with so many beautiful people, we might have gone to extremes.
You don’t have to do that last part. That was Hell. Really, you ladies do that to your…really?
Here’s an extended list of #SXSW advice, tips and tricks. Let’s begin with the first and most important:
1. GET YOUR CREDENTIALS EARLY. Everyone who is anyone will be lining up on Friday morning (March 8th) to get registered. We’ve heard the line can take up to five hours. This advice came from about everyone we talked to, but was stressed most vociferously by Austin filmmaker Todd Calvert, and author CC Chapman.
And now to Linda Koritkoski from .CO. She’s the marketing juggernaut that has helped bring .CO to the forefront of startup success. To crack into the .COM/NETs of the world, you’ve got to do lots of pimping…especially at big, crazy gatherings like #SXSW. Here’s her helpful list:
2. Bring extra battery packs for phones / laptops / anything electric. Don’t expect to find an outlet.
3. WiFi likely will be slow. Cell service will drop. Too many digital geeks all in the same place forces us all to live analog for a little while. Don’t freak out. It’ll be ok. Just go grab a beer and TALK to someone instead.
4. Torchy’s Tacos. I don’t need to say anything else.
5. Keep your eyes open, the best things that happen are random. You can’t plan SXSW — and if you try, you are doing it wrong!
And finally we bring you one of our favorite blog doctors. Erik Wolf is to your business what Kim Kardashian is to really bad reality TV–he makes people care about what you’re doing. To do this he’s a well-traveled soul who shares with you 10 more #SXSW tips and tricks:
6. Start training your liver ASAP. This is basically spring break except this time you’re not broke (and, in all likelihood carrying legit identification). Cocktails are almost as ubiquitous as iPhones at SXSW. Almost.
7. Food trucks are awesome and Austin is full of them. Enjoy.
8. You won’t get to be the mayor of anything on foursquare. It may not even be worth trying.
9. My favorite non-conference event was 20×2. This was a really fun time. They line up 20 speakers who present for 2 minutes each all in response to the same question. The results are really fantastic. Info at 20×2.org
10. When you’re at the conference, definitely go to some of the talks but when you want a break look for the blogger’s lounges. These are great places to hang out and run into cool people. And every now and then you might manage to score some free food.
11. Assuming you’re OK with drinking during the afternoon, a great place to grab a cocktail during SXSW is the lobby bar at the Hilton across from the conference center. You’ll be surprised who stops by and who you might be able to have a beer with someone famous.
12. Never wait in line for a party. Register for the ones you really want to go to in advance and if you blow it, don’t worry: the whole town is a party. You’ll be able to find something else.
13. If you happen to run into someone super geek chic like Guy Kawasaki, he will totally take a picture with you. But don’t blow it by looking dumb. You’ll need to be more clutch than that.
14. If someone mistakes you for someone famous, just roll with it.
15. If you’re interested in startups and emerging techie stuff, definitely check out the SXSW Accellerator. Basically you’re watching startups pitch their businesses to a panel of seriously distinguished judges. And you get to hear the feedback. Better than business school, I swear.
OK, that’s it for now. We’ll see you at the Interactive part of the show March 7 – 13.