SXSW eve – 1 day to go

· Trends, Tricks of the trade · , , , , , , ,

For two people who run late for almost everything, it’s been a blessing and in hindsight, a necessity, to arrive in Austin a day before the official kick off SXSW 2015

That’s because the program is so big and so diverse that it took 5 hours of ‘studying the form’ today to decide which events to go to, which speakers to prioritise and how to get across town. Fortunately I’m here with my husband so we can divide and conquer, which is the only way to come even remotely close to covering everything on offer at SXSW.

Like many big events, there’s that feeling of the calm before the storm. On every street corner there are marquees being erected and last minute preparations going on… And that’s because SXSW literally takes over the town. Over the next 10 days 30,000 delegates will flood into Austin and by all reports, it’s intense.

A key draw card is the interactive program, which is so big it’s billed as the ‘Davos of Digital.’ While I knew the digital lineup was impressive, what I didn’t realise is that the tech start-up scene in Austin is absolutely thriving. It’s like a mini Palo Alto. This afternoon we’ll stumbled across SpiceWorks, Homeaway (a competitor to AirBNB) and Spredfast which is like a hybrid Facebook and Twitter and according to locals, is going to take over the world.

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America and it’s largely thanks to the tech scene. My husband and I have quickly realised we’d be a lot more popular if I said I was a blogger and he a VC. Something to think about…

Wise heads have told us that SXSW is a marathon not a sprint so it’s fortunate that we’ve somehow managed to avoid jetlag and that I’ve packed a lot of flat shoes. A belly full of Texan BBQ apparently also helps too!

For us, tomorrow’s program includes:

Wish us luck!!

Written by Caroline Catterall · · Trends, Tricks of the trade · , , , , , , ,