Insider’s guide to SXSW: panels


  • Pick 1-2 per day you REALLY want to see and then just go with the flow. You’ll get frustrated if your schedule is too prescriptive.
  • Go to at least one or two of the key notes that look interesting, but don’t try to hit them all. The lines are longer and there are often more interesting things happening in the smaller sessions.
  • Explore the area around University of Texas. If you travel out of downtown to UT for a panel, make the most of it. Walk the area around campus to get a sense for the neighborhood and eat at one of the many cool restaurants with college-kid prices.


  • Bring WAY more than you anticipate needing. And make sure you always have a pen on hand to write notes on the back – you’ll thank yourself when you’re crafting those follow-up emails later.
  • Pickup your badge during off hours – you’ll typically see the shortest lines early in the morning or late at night.
  • Bring extra juice for your phone from a portable battery.
  • Comfy shoes – you’re going to walk a lot.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

This is part two in a four part SXSW series.

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