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Six Weeks To Go: Sort out the basics for SXSW 2012

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

You got the Austin buzz yet?

With six weeks to go until we all start packing bags and heading to Texas for the absolute brain-smash that makes up Southby, whether you are doing Interactive, Film, Music, or the whole eleven day marathon, we’ll count down to the departure every Monday here on The Baby to keep you pointed (roughly) in the right direction.

This week, how to suck eggs.

Sort out your badge

Look I know it’s pricey, and you might have problems getting it past whoever oversees your finances (be it the VC, the accounts department, or your partner), but it’s not going to get any cheaper. And last year Interactive sold out before March so the safety net of a walk-up badge was simply not there. Make the decision. Go or no-go. Buy the badge, or walk away.

SXSW 2012 Now until Feb 10 Feb 11 and Walk up rate
Platinum
(Everything)
$1295 $1395
Gold
(Int+Film)
$1050 $1150
Music $700 $750
Film $550 $595
Interactive $850 $950

You’ll need the official site to do this bit… sxsw.com/attend.

Where are you crashing?

Hotels are in short supply this year, in fact the official Austin hotels are sold out for Interactive (Fri 9 – Wed 14) so you’ll need to look somewhere else. AirBNB might be an option, as are the Austin Craigslist classified. We’ve got a Room Share Forum that might be able to help as well. Ask around your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and see if you can find a room buddy for the event – that cuts the cost down as well.

Transport Sorted?

Austin is not in the floo network (I think the clean air act had a huge impact on routes) so you can either road-trip yourself to Austin – in which case get the vehicles booked in for a service before you leave – or you’ll be flying in. Flying in with everyone else to Austin-Bergstrom International. Which means flights will fill up and get more expensive. If you’ve made the call to get here, you do have the flight tickets sorted, booked, and locked down. Right?

Break in the footwear.

I’ll make a prediction right now about your time at SXSW that is 100% going to come true. You will be walking for miles. Every day. Without fail. Put aside the dainty ballet shoes with a sole, forget the fantastically strappy sandals with the kitten heels, or the cool trendy canvas loafers. You need something that supports the ankle, that cushions the impact, that’s comfortable and are broken in!

Simply put, you need a pair of boots made for walking.

You either have them in your closet, or you need to buy them now and start wearing them round the house so your feet won’t get cut to ribbons by the time you to Austin

Seven weeks to go: The basics of attending SXSW

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The countdown to this year’s South by Southwest has been running for some time, but with the clock now under showing under two months to go, it’s time for SXSW Baby! to join in the fun of the ticking clock and help you prepare for your Austin experience of 2011.

This week it’s time to make sure of the basics.

Have you got your SXSW Badge?

A simple question, but you’d be surprised how many people leave it to the last minute. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but the cost conscious attendee knows that if you get the tickets earlier, then you’re going to get a discount.

You can choose to go for just one of the conferences, the Gold badge (Film and Interactive) or Platinum (the whole smash of Film, Interactive and Music). The big discounts have already gone, but until Feb 11th there’s still a discount compared to the walk-up rate.

Up until Feb 11th Walk-up rate
Platinum Badge $1150 $1250
Gold Badge $875 $950
Music Badge $700 $750
Film Badge $500 $550
Interactive Badge $675 $750

Have you sorted out a bed?

One of the best reasons to get your SXSW badge is it gives you access to the SXSW Housing Desk, which pretty much has control of the majority of all the hotel rooms during SXSW Week. If you need a room, the ones still left are going to be here. Centralised booking and payment, it’s all here.

There are a number of Austin hotels, apartments and room lets available outside, but you will need to go a-hunting yourself.

How are getting to Austin?

Tickets and bed sorted, next question is to make sure of your transport, which pretty much means you’re going to be flying in to Austin-Bergstrom International. Pretty much every one of the noted American carriers have flights into the state capital. As with SXSW Badges, the quicker you book, the better price you’re going to get. And with a a lot of people flying in, it’s probably more important to get a seat than a good price.

Have you a nice pair of boots?

Finally, and the biggest question for me. What are you putting on your feet? One of the biggest things people forget about SXSW is just how much walking there is. The Austin Conference Center covers six city blocks alone, throw in the extra venues in the various hotels, and you’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Then the sun sets, the parties start, and you can measure the distance in miles!

Most importantly, are those boots broken in yet? Don’t just buy a new pair the week before unless you want to rip your feet open!