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Lessons From the Dustins on How to Survive SXSW

Posted 10 March 2014 5:00 PM by Dustin M. Thomas & Dustin Thompson

Our pair of Dustins is taking Austin by storm, networking, eating and drinking their way through town. Here are some pro tips from Dustin (Thompson)'s second and Dustin (Thomas)'s first time at SXSW. You can get the full experience on their site: dxdtsxsw.com.


1. Stay within walking distance [of the convention center].

2. Book your hotel WELL in advance (see #1).

3. Bring extra power for your phones and iPads (check out Mophie).

4. Bring rain gear. Because it rains.

5. Break out of your shell and meet new people. 

6. Be prepared.

7. Take notes at the sessions but don’t try to write your blog post then or you’ll miss out on a good speaker. Spend some time later thinking about the subject and what the speakers were talking about and add your own POV.

8. Bring comfortable shoes—trust us. And, you might want to bring extra socks. If it rains, you will have wet feet.

9. Consider renting a bike. It’s hard getting a cab and bikes allow you to cover more ground. Hat tip to Waterloo Cycles for the rental. 

10. Getting a cab can be a challenge. Uber and other taxi apps like Taxi Magic and Hailacab Austin make it easier. Plus, the payment process is automated.

11. Hydrate like you’re going to a rave. Don’t act like you don’t know. Just leave your glow stick collection and infinite flow dance moves at home.

12. Pace yourself. There are a lot of booze to be had, but keep old school gentleman-like. You never know who you’re going to run into. You don’t want them to think your name is Ralph.

13. Try to attend with a few friends or close coworkers with similar interests. That way you can split up the session duties and feel comfortable with one another’s CliffsNotes.

14. Get some sleep.

15. Find a local coffee shop. Shorter lines + always solid to support local. Hit up Easy Tiger at 709 E 6th St and tell them Dustin sent you.

16. Hungry? Why wait? Grab a Snickers. 

17. Go to Stubbs and Franklin’s BBQ. Be prepared to wait in line but it’s totally worth it. Trust us.

18. Register for parties and download the Eventbrite app to keep track of your digital tickets. But a ticket doesn’t always mean you can walk right in - trust us, there will be a long line. Leverage your connections ahead of time and get on the VIP list to bypass the lines.

19. If you RSVP for a party, GO to it! Great place to mingle, meet new people, get free booze, and the occasional celebrity sighting.

20. Hipsters—they are all over Austin. But don’t be afraid, they mean no harm. A peaceful group with awesome mustaches, beards, fun clothes, unique personalities and a certain charm that will draw you in and intrigue you. Say hi, buy them a beer, swap stories and make a new friend. They keep Austin weird and fun.

 

Originally posted on the #DXDT@SXSW Tumblr.

Dustin M. Thomas is Senior Copywriter at Moxie. He was born and raised a Southern Gentleman with the harsh bite of a dry well whiskey. His motto: have pen, will travel.

Dustin Thompson is Social Media Director at Moxie. He's knowledgeable about all things Internet. His favorite meme is La Beret.

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