The Event Planner's Survival Guide to South By Southwest
Every year, South By Southwest rolls into Austin with all the spectacle of a three-ring circus, bringing with it global influencers in search of the Next Big Thing in tech, music, film, and more. Kennedy Creative Events has been firmly rooted in Austin since 1999 and we’ve seen (and done) it all, from experiential brand activations to press events and product launches meant to catch the eye and capture the attention of even the most discerning decision makers. If you’re making your debut appearance at SXSW as you plan your brand’s big event, or if you just need to brush up on how to hit a home run the next time you host a South By event, we’ve got some pro tips for you. (And if you need some backup at SXSW 2020, give us a buzz.)
1. Plan for the elements
Expect the worst type of weather and if weather turns out to be good on event day, don’t dwell on the fact you didn’t use what you bought.
2. Stand apart from the rest
Remember there are hundreds of other activations that attendees can go to. Make yours memorable on day 1 and you’ll have people return to yours and tell their friends to go to your event versus your competitors.
3. Get ahead of the game
Make sure your clients have a realistic expectation on the overall pre-planning of the event. Services are more expensive, permits are needed months out from event date, marketing the event is important to get the city buzzing about your program..etc.
4. Overpack like a Girl Scout
Be overprepared! You can never have too many supplies onsite. Especially with outdoor events.
5. Take care of your team
Make sure your onsite facilitators are taken care of and feel prepared to give the best service possible to guests. This will help guests to feel welcome and minimize the frustration around long lines. It also empowers the team to make decisions and think independently.