Stand Out at SXSW: 8 Tips on Throwing a Memorable Event

We partnered with Diobox to make sure your planning process is a success from start to finish.

With over 70K attendees and counting, South by Southwest is one of the most effective conferences to promote your brand or business. However, organizing an event can be stressful, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar setting such as SXSW.

We partnered with Diobox, the most advanced platform for managing events and guests, to present you with the ultimate guide in making sure your event goes without a hitch. From finding the perfect venue to making your event stress-free, read the tips below so you’re prepared when it’s go time.

How to Find the Ultimate Venue

Look for untraditional  

Standing out at SXSW starts with a unique venue. Like the city of Austin, you’ll need a space full of funky flair and charm. To help create buzz around your event, find an unexpected venue that will get them excited to spend time hearing about your brand, products, or news. Even better, nontraditional venues tend to be less expensive options than pricey festival real estate.

Focus on functionality

While choosing a unique space will help draw in the crowds, space functionality is just as important. Before you book a venue, there are several questions to ask yourself: What is your budget? What is your guest count? Are there in-house vendors required? What are the hours of access that come with your rental? Answering these questions ahead of time will help guide your search in finding a venue. For more advice on how to pick the venue, view the checklist with event planner, Cara Kleinhaut, founder of Caravents.

austin texas event spaceBook this historic hall venue

Don’t overlook location

While the festival provides Sxcycles and free shuttles, you want a venue that is close to the action. Look for spaces in the heart of downtown Austin so your attendees won’t have to travel too far to get there. Find a conveniently located venue.

Nail down the purpose  

Think about the purpose of the event. Having a clear understanding of why you’re planning this event will help guide the vision. For example, is it a promotional event, product release, or a place to celebrate? Once you can answer these questions, your location search will be simplified.

Go interactive  

Brainstorm ways to get your audience involved in every aspect, whether that’s through contests, giveaways, or virtual reality. You’re more likely to leave an impression if your audience can interact with the product instead of just passing out flyers or giving a demo. Find a space that facilitates your interactive experience and stand out with a unique venue.    

austin sxsw venueBook this whimsical hip open space.

How to make your SXSW event stress-free

Year after year, big brands and companies flock to Austin to hold events and present their new products with hopes of landing clients and building their brand loyalty with current customers.

However, getting to that point takes a lot of hard work and planning which can be overlooked until it’s too late. Leading up to the big day of your SXSW event, making sure all of your necessary pre-event and day-of event management tasks are in order can dictate your event and conference success.

Tips on staying organized

SXSW is one of the biggest conferences for tech during the year, so many of your current clients and potential new customers will be coming in from across the country. To make sure all of your pre-event tasks are handled before you show up to the conference, you must ensure that your contacts are organized, invites have been designed and sent, venue seating is in order (if applicable), and you have a system in place to track RSVPs. As the day of your SXSW event quickly approaches, it’s also important to keep your confirmed guests excited and engaged.

Having all of these pre-event tasks handled before you arrive at the conference can determine the amount of extra time and stress you have to deal with once you show up to the event, so having your tasks organized ahead of time can be an early indicator of your SXSW success.

austin sxsw event venueBook this multifunctional event space

How to manage guests on event day

At SXSW, there will be several factors to consider when trying to manage your event without a hitch. Hopefully, you’ve already used an event management platform to send out the email invitations and have captured the confirmed RSVPs. During the check-in process, you should locate all the venue entrances where guests will be entering, so that your door staff can cover those areas. By using the Diobox real-time check-in tool, all data is synced between the devices, which ensures there are no party crashers!

If you are hosting more than one event during the week, being able to track attendance for repeat guests can be very valuable. Having access to the guest history across multiple events helps you make better decisions for future invitations.

diobox-iphone-sxswTo learn more about how Diobox can be used to throw a stress-free SXSW event, check out this video.