Write your fears down on a piece of paper. Fold it into a pirate hat, put it on your head. There, now you're a pirate [with] no fear.

Two Months To Go! | Interactive: March 7-11, 2013 | Film: March 7-15, 2013 | Music: 11-16, 2014 | Austin Weather

Posts Tagged ‘tips’

SXSW: Real Tips for Real People

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Every year at this time, our friend Larry Richman posts a series of blog posts detailing tips for the SXSW Film festival that he has gathered over his eight years attending the event in March.

His first post is up now and can be found here.

Keep your eyes peeled for his posts before and during the event!

One Week To Go: Interviews, Intrigue, and Panic Booking

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Next week, many of us will be heading over to Austin for SXSW – the Interactive and Film crowds will start the gatherings to all intents around lunchtime on Thursday 8th March, and while the Music crowds will take a bit longer to drift to the Texan Capital, the SXSW 2012 clock will have started.

Just time for some last-minute thoughts and things to do in our “Weeks to Go” series.

What I’d suggest now is you take a calm ten minutes, and quietly go through your preparations. Plane tickets, hotel reservations, AirBNB arrangements, all of the stuff that needs to be done… is it done? Have you copies of the information you’ll need? Will you print them out because you know your smartphone will go flat if you rely on it in Austin? I know I said cover the basics at six weeks to go, but let’s check them once more (and that includes Visa or ETSA applications that those Southbyers outside of the US will need to apply for before you fly).

Do it now, and you have just enough time to do a panic order on whatever it is you have.

Everyone has a story to tell at SXSW, and many of you are going to be looking at media outlets, bloggers, websites, newspapers, radio, and anyone else you can find to get the message out. Now is the time to reach out to them, with a short, succinct message, and a clear request of what you’d like (come to our show, are you doing interviews, would you download the application please).

Build up the intrigue on the social networks as well if you are doing a launch, tease a track from a new album, release a new film trailer… SXSW is close enough now that the PR legwork you do now will be remembered next week as it all starts. And for us in the media who are booking interviews with interesting people, great musicians, and amazing films, this is week we want to lock down or diary of appointments. So let’s have both sides help each other out!

Four Weeks To Go: Plan your personal SXSW 2012 Experience

Monday, February 6th, 2012

You’ve got your tickets and accommodation sorted (six weeks to go), stuff like visas and printing with a strict deadline has been orders (five weeks), now with four weeks to go it’s time to sort out your own SXSW timetable.

Hold on a moment, I hear you digitally thinking, the timetables and schedules aren’t complete, and I thought SXSW Baby! always said go with the flow? That’s true, but even if you are floating around Austin like a leaf in the wind, it’s a nice idea to know what sort of shape you’d like the destination to be. Which is what this week’s get ready is all about.

In my summer break I went to Southby and I got…

Get a blank sheet of paper and grab your sharpie. Write down, in one sentence, your goal for attending South by Southwest, your mission statement, your reason for going. Is it to promote your start-up? …to learn about directing music videos? …to get noticed by the US music press? …to get your mojo back?

Everyone going to SXSW will have a different goal, do you know yours? In a single sentence, sum up how you want you Southby story to end.

Things to get

I’d also suggest you grab yourself a notebook. The hipsters in you can have a dedicated Moleskine book for SXSW, the smarter readers will go for some Field Notes, and no matter how many times I suggest it, the only Filofax at Interactive will be mine. Still, all the agents and promoters at Music will join me with the ring binders, so I’ll keep the powder dry. No matter what you use, keep this close to hand over the next few weeks.

Anyway, note machine in hand (with that mission statement printed in large friendly letters on the front page perhaps?) I’m going to suggest two sections. The first is things to get. Be it medication and pills (Tylenol, paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc), a new hands-free cable for your iPhone, a US to European plug adaptor, you’ll have moments when you remember there is something you want to bring to Austin. Always write it down.

By the time you get ready to leave, you know you’ll have everything you want and need.

People to see

SXSW is all about the moments of meeting people in a corridor, over barbecue, or in line for a secret gig by Stan Bush. Some of those will be happenstance, but others, where you ping someone in a Twitter conversation and say “we have to meet at SXSW!”, you can work on to make happen. In the whirlwind of the Convention Center, you’re not going to be able to remember all those notes, nudges, and status updates. You will miss someone. Again, write it down, and give yourself some targets and goals of people to meet outside of your big statement. It’s unlikely you’ll get the full set, but you’ll get far more than you miss. And what is SXSW if not the connections you can make.

Stuff to do

And finally, how are you going to answer the external question “where’s the party?” once March is here? If you’re me, I flip open my Filofax, and can rattle off to or three for most times of each evening. You can do the same. Whenever you see a link to a party or event, follow it, RSVP, and write it down. Same for your must-see sessions, bands, and films.

Yes, all three of these elements are the same idea – when you have a spark or idea about SXSW, if you can’t act on it at that very moment, then capture it so it’s not lost. A simple idea to improving your time in Austin, but one that’s incredibly powerful. Because when you get to SXSW and there’s no time to think, all you need to do is look at your secret weapon notebook for the next play.

Bring a sharpie, says Lanyrd’s Sophie Barrett

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The Baby! spoke to Lanyard’s founders last year in Brush Square, and we’ve been watching the progress that Simon and Nat have made with their social directory software (it’s impressive, and you should  check it out before March). They’re coming back to SXSW for 2012 with more people from their team including Sophie Barrett, who’s put together some tips from her first timers experience last year:

Take lots of business cards with you, and keep a fine Sharpie handy so you can note down important information on the back of each one you take. You’re likely to meet lots of people and forget what conversations you had, so little reminders can make all the difference.

More hints, and links, over on the Lanyrd blog (and thanks to Sophie for linking through to us). And if you want to keep an eye on Lanyrd, they have a dedicated twitter feed for Austin… @LanyrdSXSW.

Stephen Colman’s A to Z of SXSW

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Partly looking back at SXSW 2011, but also chock full of info for this year’s conference, Stephen Colman has went for the tradition A-Z list to go through his experiences of Austin as a first time attendee last year.

P is for… Platinum Badge
The Platinum Badge – The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to attend every motherfu*king session on the program, accept no substitutes.

This is your pass to everything on the program: All of Interactive, Film, and Music. All the parties. All of it. Be careful though, that’s up to $1395 of badge you’re causally wearing on a lanyard around your neck. If you lose it, it will not be replaced. Treat it like gold (or platinum I guess).

Yes, he managed something for X, but there’s a nice mix of stuff in here.

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

Check out David Greenwald’s “Surviving SXSW Music” advice

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Some great advice over on Rawktumblr for those of you heading to SXSW Music. Gathered over two years of experience in Austin, he’s worked out how he can survive SXSW, and reckons that the same tips will help you survive as well.

This is based on my experiences at SXSW Music from the last two years. It may help you. It is by no means authoritative. Mostly, I’d advise skipping the fucking Strokes, the Fader Fort lines and the soul-crushing #VIPfest vibes and actually trying to catch some unknown new bands in weird bars on the edge of town

While there’s nothing wrong with heading to the big bands at Southby, I’m with David – head for the new music scene, stay flexible in the scheduling, and if your favourite big band is  doing a super late night slot (around 1am) you’ll likely have a better than evens chance of getting in to Stubbs that late at night… because their 10pm headlining slot means queuing from 5pm, and missing nine other new bands around Sixth Street.

Read the rest of David’s advice at Rawktumblr.