SXSWhat should I bring?

Is everyone sick of using SXSW as a SXSWay to say things? I’m getting there.
Anyway. SXSW is next week. I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute…
Crazy, right? I’ve been building my schedule and having panic attacks since last week. While there are way too many things going on and so many variables, it’s nice to know that you’ve got control of one thing: what you bring with you. Here are a few essentials that have gotten me through many-a-SouthBy.

1. SXSW materials (pocket schedule not pictured) – The pocket schedule is a lifesaver. You can have your plans and your personal schedules and whatever else, but things change, panels are full, and when you need a last minute activity, the pocket schedule will guide your path.

2. Laptop/iPad – If you’re blogging, this is the easiest way. The WiFi gets spotty and laptops get heavy, so you probably won’t carry it more than the first few days, but you can start with the best of intentions.

3. Business cards – Networking and all that.

4. Extra batteries – This one is a biggy. Cell service is spotty enough that it does a number on a battery, and it’s likely you’ll be out from early in the day ’til the wee hours of the morning. These particular batteries have saved me multiple times. You don’t want to be out of juice when people are texting you about a secret show on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge.

5. Badge – Don’t leave home without it. Pretty much don’t ever not be wearing it. It’s not worth the risk of losing it, because it can’t be replaced.

6. Power sources (for electronics) – You can generally find a plug here and there for a last minute charge between panels.

7. Power sources (for humans) – A couple of well placed granola bars will tide you over between (sporadic) meals. Free food is abundant, but sometimes hard to find when you need it.

8. Comfortable shoes (TOMS pictured) – you’re going to walk forever and then walk some more.

*** Not pictured: Dollar bills – there are plenty of open bars, but the drinks don’t pour themselves. Bring along plenty of singles to tip the bartenders.

So those are the things I definitely won’t be without. What about you?

There’s a week ’til the madness starts. Stock up, rest up, and I’ll see you at the fest.

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