SXSW 2023 – Prep and Tackling Logistics

In 2020 I was 24 hours away from getting on a plane when SXSW was cancelled and Covid became a global issue.  So I’m very happy to be going to Austin, Texas, USA in 2023, and if you have been before or maybe only once or twice, there are a number of tips to share to help you tackle logistics and be confident.

I’ve been 4-5 times before and SXSW is mind blowing – even though you put the effort in for prep you need to be flexible, open and ready for serendipity.


Get your badge at registration ahead of the event starting – for example we arrive in Austin on Thursday so will go straight to the Austin Convention Centre to pick it up before checking into the hotel.  Wear it day and night plus pin it to your top, so you don’t lose it.

Fellow Aussies

Search on Facebook and LinkedIn for posts and info where people are saying that they are going to SXSW and/or speaking.  If you are following SXSW on socials then these posts are likely to pop up for you anyway.

Reach out to people and make contact via message or email, and especially if you are going by yourself then this will ensure you’ve got a few friends you can meet.  For example, I’m happy to chat through plans before travelling and we arrive in Austin on 9.3.23 😊

Post on your socials and use #SXSW, tag @SXSW that you are going which will come up in feeds of people who are likely to be going too.

Often you’ll meet people in the lineups, at events and parties or houses, so a bit of a crew forms and most people are friendly coming from countries around the world.

Food and Drinks

The SXSW participant’s lounge often does breakfast/brunch, many houses and unofficial SX events will have free food and drinks, often including alcohol.  Take a refillable bottle for water (tap water is fine) and where there is free food on offer these places can be very popular so that is another reason to register for these events and activities.


Many countries, organisations and tech companies including social media platforms have houses where they take over a venue, brand it, provide sessions and speakers, as well as catering and parties.

Australia House is a must do and you can reach out to G’day USA team members as well as Austrade, your state/territory and Australia government reps.  You’ll see some amazing tech, startups and music at different houses so make sure you find some time to fit in some house hopping, with the UK House another favourite.


If you are staying beyond the SXSW programming then contact people that you might like to meet in Austin before you get over there.  Some locals go away and rent out their houses because it is spring break.  Research who you might like to meet with on LinkedIn and Google, reach out and ask them to make a time for a chat.  If you are South Australian then the sister city relationship that Adelaide has with Austin can be a good way to leverage connections.


Work through the program a few weeks before you go, reviewing it day by day, and use the app to plan your schedule, favouriting multiple sessions of interest in the same time slot.

I’ve found that staying at one venue/hotel for a half day or full day works best, rather that walking between many different locations, and the program has themes that match venues, so this helps.  On that point I’d suggest you were flat shoes and cool, comfortable clothes, have a jacket and scarf because the weather can change throughout the day.  Also, allow time to check out the expo where many countries have startups exhibiting and you’ll see the latest in tech, think AI, robots, innovation.

Social Media

Follow SXSW across all social platforms, post that you are going, when you are travelling, and share content each day as there are so many people that have this festival on their bucket list and love to see what is going on.  You can also turn all of your social media posts into blogs posts and other content, particularly video based.

Unofficial Events and Programs

Our Virtual Assistant team research events that are run alongside SXSW, from Eventbrite, LinkedIn and broader searches producing a list that is updated each week until SXSW happens.

These other events are everything else that happens outside of the official program – parties, houses (tech co’s, countries, orgs have them) and your badge is for SXSW official but there are so many other things going on and it is best to register for these things before you get to Austin.

Here are some picks that you might be interested in:

FREE: The Future of Food 2023 – Event Series

Tulsa House at SXSW 2023

Established® and Startup of the Year® in Austin, TX 2023!

The Non-Obvious 7 Minute Meetup | The SHORTEST SXSW EVENT 2023 (unofficial)

Dolphin Tank at SXSW

Channel Factory House at SXSW

Vancouver Day at SXSW 2023 in Austin TX

Optiv Cyber House at SXSW

CI&T Presents Impact Tomorrow at SXSW 2023

Future of Data Challenge Awards Ceremony & Reception

The Rendezvous In ATX 2023

SXSW Networking Event for Creators and Creator Economy Brands


Inc. Founders House

BrainTrust Founders Studio presents Founders House in partnership with For(bes) the Culture at SXSW 2023


NordicS 2050 SXSW

frog at SXSW 2023

Join an exclusive startup event focusing on women founders by Google Cloud

Wonder House


And finally, Capital Factory which is a must!  Join Backstage and read this guide by Rohit Bhargava.

PS. Salt Lick BBQ is a must and if you can’t fit it in with the massive SXSW schedule then you can get it at Austin airport.

PSS. Here is the blog on SXSW back in 2020 with more hints and suggestions.

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