It's that time of the year again… SXSW.  The one time of the year that our industry descends on our wonderful little slice of heaven.  It's also the time of year that locals really hate because our town is overrun.  Eh — I'm just glad I don't have to travel to meet folks!

Some tips:

  • It isn't a widely publicized story, but Austin has free wi-fi almost everywhere.  You can do better than going to Starbucks to grab something to eat/drink & paying for wi-fi there.
  • Austin is relatively safe… there is an occasional incident or two, but by and large you aren't going to get in much trouble if you are roaming around at night.  But of course, be aware of your surroundings and don't put yourself in trouble to see what happens.
  • There are not a ton of restaurants in/around the Convention Center.  There are some, but not as many as you'd think.
  • Don't limit your Austin experience to the Downtown areas.  I would recommend getting out a bit, perhaps once for Tex-Mex and once for Barbecue.  You can find good places Downtown, but some real gems are outside of the Downtown area.
  • People are typically very, very friendly.  If you're lost, ask for help.  Ask for recommendations of things to do, places to go, and so on.  Most folks will be willing to help you.
  • Mexican martinis - enjoy a lot of them while you can.
  • Finally, this isn't exactly a pedestrian friendly city.  Don't walk out in front of a car thinking it will stop.  Be a defensive pedestrian & you'll be ok.

And if you're looking for great deals from restaurants, bars, and other local Austin businesses while you are in town, check out our new site or follow us on twitter @youponsaustin. :-)  You can scan the deals that local Austin businesses are making available especially for SXSW, and get updates or coupons delivered to your cell phone, e-mail account, or RSS reader.