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3 Must Use Hacks for SXSW

March 17, 2016
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[Dowload] Unofficial Party Guide

If you are attending SXSW this year, get ready! 2016 is the largest SXSW in the history of the event. Whether you are coming for the tech and interactive portion or the film and music portion, South-by has something for everyone.

Recently, I attended the interactive portion of the gathering this year and I learned a few hacks I wanted to share.

Turn off your LTE if you want Internet

LTE stands for “Long Term Evolution” and it’s main objective is to improve wireless broadband speeds. With the LTE network you can see data speed improvements up to 10X! However, when you have HUGE crowds of SXSW goers in a close radius your Internet speed goes down hill fast.

Good luck trying to post to Instagram!

Alright, ready for the hack? So, LTE has a little brother named 3G. And yes, like a little brother it is a bit smaller and does not carry the bandwidth of data his older brother LTE has. Everyone wants to use LTE to get the fastest Internet speeds so most phones default to LTE. See where I’m going with this?

If you manually turn off your LTE network and go back to 3G network, you will be on a network with much less people gathering for SXSW. That will keep your speeds sufficient to access the web, check email, and post to your favorite social networks.


Put this tip in your pocket for any large social gathering 😉


Uber X? Treat yourself to an Uber Select – You will Save Money!

Whether you are an Uber fan or ride with team Lyft, it doesn’t really matter. SXSW is crowded so as a result, both Uber and Lyft have surge charges due to the heightened demand. With that said, getting from place-to-place can take some time. So prepare to be patient.

The fact is the vast majority of us are not celebrities and will typically not spring for the luxury of an Uber Select, Uber Black, or Uber XL. Most of us default to Uber X because why pay extra?

During SXSW, I realized the vast majority of attendees would request an Uber X. As a result, the surge charges would kick in, and the price of the rides would sky rocked to nearly 4X in some cases.


When I looked at some of the luxury Uber services like Uber Select, I noticed they rarely had surge pricing, causing them to be cheaper than Uber X.

The moral of this story is that if you attend SXSW you will experience traffic. So you might as well ride in style and use Uber Select to relax in air-conditioned luxury as you get whisked away to your next event, while you save some serious money.

Going to the exhibits… Show up early and leave early

This year I joined Power Digital client Social Imprints as an exhibitor. As a disrupter in the corporate merchandising space, Social Imprints is making a name for themselves as the “King of Swag.”


You don’t just earn a name like that without giving something up, literally. Social Imprints understands the human need for FREE STUFF. For a simple first name, last name, and email on a digital form, they will print you a free shirt from their booth in your size.

Social Imprints is not the only vendor giving stuff away. There are literally hundreds of booths to visit and get free stuff from. One of my favorites was Stella Artois giving away their iconic beer “chalice” with beer in it! Each booth is trying to out perform and get your attention with their free swag and merchandise or big item raffles for apple products and drones.


However, the booths run out of free stuff to give away quickly. I noticed many of the giveaways were done by 1pm. It pays to go before noon if you want the best free swag from SXSW.

You certainly don’t need to leave the exhibit hall after the free merchandise is gone, but there are also a lot of quality activities and speakers all over the city, as the event is spread out across downtown Austin. Also, the happy hours and event parties are note worthy and worth mentioning.


Not sure which party to attend? Download our party guide, where we listed the best official and unofficial parties, equipped with links to information for each party. Click here to download now:


Make sure to RSVP for event parties and don’t forget your SXSW badge, as many events require it.



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