How to master SXSW in 7 steps

How to master SXSW in 7 steps

SXSW can seem like fun until you're on day four, wondering what the point of life is, with a cumulative hangover and a looming chiropractor's bill for the Airbnb floor you volunteered for in January.

But, IT CAN BE DIFFERENT. Here's a few suggestions to help you rock it.


SXSW is about meeting people, pressing flesh, and closing deals. We're 'people people' at Olark live chat. Here are some tips from our playbook.

  1. Always be charging. The one golden rule of conferencing is to keep your devices charged.
  2. Plan your time. SXSW is a scattered experience. Prioritize! Make sure you know where and when you have to be. Ninja tip: know your nearby back up events in case you can't get in to your first choice.
  3. Never be shy. Everyone expects to meet new people at SXSW, so go up and introduce yourself. Need an opening line? Just be straight up. "Hey, I'm trying to meet new people at SXSW." You can follow up with, "What are you trying to get out of SXSW?"
  4. Bring a pen. No one is going to remember you. Write notes on business cards you give out and write notes on business cards you receive. Ninja tip: Dog ear critical business cards. That way you'll know which ones you have to reply to faster.
  5. Send follow-ups. Use a consistent subject line so you can search your inbox for replies. I like to use, "follow-up from SXSW: something specific to the person"
  6. Reintroduce yourself. Assume people will forget everything at SXSW. Have a two-sentence summary of who you are and where you met at SXSW (if you remember).
  7. Don’t flame out. Covet sleep. Drink water. Wash your hands. A hangover at SXSW will end you. SXSW is a marathon, not a sprint.

Meet us at SXSW

You can contact to set up a meeting or just say hi!

Sunir Shah

Read more posts by Sunir Shah

Sunir is building Olark's marketing machine through a focused application of engineering.