5 Tips for SXSW Interactive Attendees - What to Pack

SXSW Interactive is just around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about packing your bags. Here are our top 5 tips for SXSW Interactive Attendees to pack:

1. Business cards: You ever see fish in a pond or aquarium at feeding time, when there's just this frenzy around the food? That's what happens at SXSW Interactive - these networking frenzies where everyone's whipping out their cards and swapping them. You don't want to be left with too-few cards. There are few moments as awkward as when you've been hoarding your precious few cards, just told the guy who was really enthusiastic to get one that you had like two cards left and the one person you absolutely want to have your card walks up.

2. Chargers: there's nothing worse than having electronic devices with no battery power left, so chargers are one of the very first things you should throw in your bag. Also be sure that all your devices are fully charged right before your flight, just in case you leave your charger still plugged into the wall or right next to where your bag was when you grabbed it in a rush. Fully charged devices will give you time to buy another charger and/or make a new best friend who will lend you theirs in the meantime.

3. Water bottle: it's remarkably easy to get dehydrated when you're running around, it's warm out, and you're attending non-stop happy hours and evening events. The easiest and cheapest way to make sure you don't dehydrate is to bring a water bottle. Plus it's crazy how thirsty you get you after the tenth time in a row you give your 30-second elevator pitch, so keep that water bottle handy, and you'll be glad you brought it along.

4. Layers: Yea you've got your company shirt, you're representin', and frankly quite stylish. Then you walk into a conference room and begin to feel the Arctic chill. Throw on a sweatshirt and you're no longer proudly displaying your startup's logo - unless...you remember to pack the fleece with your logo. And same goes for those who prefer to be more stylish (not that fleeces can't be sexy - see photo below) - you can sport that cute summer outfit outdoors, but you had better have something to cover up if you're attending any talks or workshops.

5. Miscellaneous must-haves: the dry air on the flight, late nights and constant conversations will leave your lips super chapped. You don't want to distract people you're talking with by incessantly licking your lips or have the look of a guy (or girl) who just made it across a desert, so throw that chapstick in your bag.

You're also going to be shaking a lot of hands and grabbing snacks (tacos from food trucks for example) as you run around between events, so don't forget a small bottle of hand sanitizer or some wipes. The last thing you want to do is catch a bug while you're at Southby.

Gum or breath mints. This one is more for other people, and like the chapstick and sanitizer you can buy it at Walgreens if you forget. But why waste those precious Southby moments standing in line at a drug store when you can spend the time meeting cool people?

Need a Place to Stay for SXSW Interactive? Hotels are basically sold out, but you can still get a short-term rental. Check out the listings here:http://bit.ly/ADBxm4.

For tips on what to do once you get there, check out this cool post by Danielle Morrill: http://www.daniellemorrill.com/2012/02/how-to-hustle-sxsw-for-fun-profit/.

Photo credits:

Model in fleece: kaboodle.com (http://ow.ly/9q623)