Don’t panic: Here are 5 last-minute SXSW survival tips

SXSWFor our friends attending SXSW events; so much great information and so many fun things to do, it can be overwhelming! A few tips from the Austin Business Journal:

• Plan and RSVP where you can. Some events may be full. But you still can and should RSVP everywhere you possibly can. Often you can get in by lining up early. Have your badge, be on the list, get in line, and hope for the best. No badge? Don’t forget the handy-dandy official link to the free stuff. Also look for other great resources like Do512, and several Facebook Groups including “RSVP for your Life” and “Free at SXSW.” Keep up with social media during the events to keep up with news real-time.

But have a backup plan. Even with perfect planning, panels will be full, parties will be overflowing. Make sure you have several choices for panels, parties and events. You are probably not getting into the main room to see President Obama unless you had amazing luck in the ticket lottery, so be prepared to watch the live stream version on your laptop at a cool downtown coffee shop or bar.

And when that fails, be flexible. Much of SXSW is kismet. If none of your plans work out, go with the flow. I’ve had some of the best experiences when all my plans failed, I found an old friend or met a new friend, and just wandered around. Downtown will be absolutely full of stuff going on that you hadn’t planned for, so you have no excuses for not making the most of your time.

Get into survival mode. Yes, we are expecting some weather for SXSW Interactive. Have a lightweight rain slicker, a tiny umbrella and maybe mittens. It’s not supposed to be freezing, but anything is possible. Dress in layers and try not to drown. Pack some protein bars and jerky. Get some sleep. Plan your transportation carefully. With the Obamas in town the always-epic traffic and parking situation will be exponentially worse on those two days. Check out the new CapMetro app for schedules and to buy tickets and special passes for SXSW. Have ride-sharing apps ready. And APD has instituted no-refusal from now through the end of SXSW. If you plan to drink, plan ahead.

Don’t forget the after-show. You did it. You survived. Don’t let it be just a — possibly hazy — memory and a few extra pounds of barbecue and beer weight. Make sure to organize your cards and do your follow-up with all the great contacts. Assimilate what you’ve learned, and put some of that great stuff into practice. And we’ll see you back here next year! Additional information>>>