This year I got the chance to attend SXSW Interactive. Immediately upon signing up as a newbie, recommendations on where to go, how to dress, what sessions to attend, must eats and just plain how to survive started rolling in. Talk about overwhelming!
If you're not familiar, SXSW is an Interactive, Film and Music festival that started in 1987 and is still going strong today in Austin, TX. I attended the Interactive portion which is full of emerging social and technology, with keynote speakers such as President Obama and the CEO of Under Armour. It's where Twitter, Foursquare and many others got their start, cool right?!
As you can tell, it's not your typical work conference. When it came time to pack my bag for the week, I was at a loss. I had to take into account that I would be walking constantly, the temperatures varied from the 20s to the 90s, it would rain, I need to look somewhat professional and that Austin is undoubtedly one of the most hip cities ever. Oh yeah, and I also had to fit five days and nights worth of outfits in a carry-on as checking a bag will add an hour onto your travel because it's so crowded.
Phew! Well folks, I'm happy to report back that not only did I survive SXSW, but I managed to pack appropriately and pick up lots of tips on how I would do it better next time. Admittedly, I Googled what to wear incessantly and really couldn't find much for just the Interactive portion, especially if you have a preppier style like me. Here are my go-tos that really could work for any travel you have coming up this spring!
I would definitely say to ensure you bring a rain jacket, backpack (tote bags hurt your shoulders), an extra battery (see my other favorite charger here) for your phone and comfy walking shoes. I liked having a scarf always in my bag for the session rooms that were colder. I also found that I preferred a notebook over my iPad for taking notes. Remember that you're out all day, sometimes well into the night, so having a small but mighty concealer and some lipgloss will go a long way.
See a full selection of my SXSW style favorites below! Click on the images for more details, a lot of these are on sale right now.
Also, I have to mention that I could write ten more posts on all the amazing things I experienced at the event, and maybe I will, but right now I thought I would focus on wardrobe. I hope you enjoyed and found some inspiration for your next trip (or just for right now ;)).
Who else has been to SXSW?! What tips would you add?