First Timers: Tips, Advice and More!

Written by Jessica MacCall | March 6, 2016

With March on the horizon, SXSWedu is excited to be making final preparations for the 2016 Conference & Festival! As the event continues to grow and welcome more registrants each year, the percentage of first time attendees is proportionately larger. If this is your first time attending, welcome!

Here's a look at some of the tools, programming and aspects of the event that are worth putting on your radar.

Use the Tools

Take advantage of the resources designed to help you maximize your experience before, during and after the event!

    Online Schedule - Browse, build and share your SXSWedu schedule in the Online Schedule. Log in with your eduSocial account to save your personalized agenda, RSVP for mentor sessions and sync with your mobile app.

    Mobile App - Download the SXSWedu app, presented by McGraw-Hill Education, on your phone or tablet. Browse the program lineup, build your schedule, view maps and connect with fellow attendees! It’s everything you’ve ever wanted and more.

    eduSocial - Activate your eduSocial account to find and message other attendees in the SXSWedu directory, manage your hotel reservations and print your badge, QuickCode and more.

    Digital Program Guide - Browse through the SXSWedu 2016 Program Guide digitally. A printed version of this informative guide is provided to every SXSWedu attendee when they arrive in Austin to pick up their registration badge.

Understand the Event

The SXSWedu program is a combination of various elements, each designed to create a powerful and unique experience for your time at the event. Whether you are looking for skill development or a new perspective, there’s sure to be something on the program to facilitate your desired learning outcome.

Get familiar with Austin and our venues, learn about our program format and make a plan on how you'll stay on track at this year's SXSWedu with the January Community Update!

Star The Must-See's on Your Schedule

The SXSWedu program features a wide range of sessions and special events to choose from. If this is your first time attending, there are a few things that you'll want to star on your 'can't miss' list.

General Advice to Consider

    Pack for Every Occasion
    You'll be attending sessions, meeting potential clients, going to film screenings, networking at parties and hopping from one place to the next. Austin weather can be unpredictable, so check the weather before you head south. You'll probably be doing a fair share of walking, so be comfort-conscious when selecting shoes to pack.

    Look into Transportation Options
    Once you arrive at SXSWedu, you can easily walk to and from each of the programming venues - the Austin Convention Center, the Hilton Austin Downtown, the JW Marriott and the Stateside theatre. However, there are also several alternatives to walking. Check out the getting around page for a look at your options.

    Build a Schedule
    You don't have to stick with it, but having some place to start will make all the difference. The process of making your schedule is a useful discovery tool for events you may not otherwise hear about.

    Steer Clear of FOMO
    FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. With so many events going on at the same time, we don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out. Determining exactly which sessions to attend can be challenging, but at the end of the day you're going to learn something new and have fun no matter what you pick. The experience is what you make of it, so just go with the flow and give in to serendipity.