Prepare For SXSW With These Mobile Apps

By Natalie Cheng | Mar 04, 2014

Can you believe it’s already March? Besides the start of spring, March is a big month especially for Austin, Texas. For the city, SXSW is fast approaching and soon an estimated 30,000+ participants plus hundreds of bands and filmmakers will be flocking to Austin for the annual conference. The conference is a big deal and even bigger as 2014 marks the 20th year of SXSW Interactive. It has grown from a small conference with a couple hundred participants into one of the most important cultural and economic incubators of the new millennium as chronicled by Fast Company in its new ebook.

Are you heading to SXSW? Ready for the onslaught of panels, networking, music, barbecue, tacos, booze, and parties? There will be plenty to do so remember to keep hydrated and remember to bring your networking game. To top it off, Apple is planning on expanding its iTunes Festival to the United States for the first time at this year’s SXSW. If you’re a newbie to the conference, it can seem daunting. Thankfully, there are mobile apps that can make navigating SXSW easier. Check out some of these apps and download them before you go:


We’ll start with the official mobile app for the conference. SXSW GO is an app that lets you browse the full event list, create your own personal schedule, view sessions by day, create custom filters, and find your way around Austin. You can also find your friends and connections that are attending SXSW and see what sessions they are attending and create a SXSocial account to network with other attendees. To help you navigate the trade show, the app has an interactive map where you can browse exhibitors, find venues, and get directions.


Since there are so many events at SXSW, it’s hard to keep up with everything that is going on. In order to discover events and RSVP to them, you’ll need an app like Eventbrite. There are tons of events you can find on Eventbrite just by searching “SXSW”. The app lets you also explore popular local events and get recommendations. Besides event information, you can keep track of all your tickets in one place and add events to your calendar or Passbook. With the Eventbrite app, you can see which events your friends are going to and share events. The app makes it easy to attend events without having to print paper tickets.


We love using Evernote and the mobile app is no exception. The Evernote app will come in handy for any notes you take at SXSW or at other events. The app has many cool features like being able to record voice and audio notes, share notes with friends, take photos of whiteboards, and sync your notes across various devices. Did you meet someone new? If you have a premium account, you can take a photo of a business card and then it’ll save the information into the app. You can also use Evernote Hello to help you remember everything about people you meet. Check out the video below for some of its features:


Looking to discover new music from local bands while you’re in town? If you want to avoid the crowds, you can download the DeliRadio app available for iOS or Android. You’ll be able to find local Austin bands that have upcoming shows, stream their music, follow artists and friends, and learn more about the local music scene.

Group Messaging Apps

Since the conference is so massive, group messaging apps come in handy when you need to coordinate something quickly with a group of people. Instead of writing up an email or trying to find everyone’s contact information, you can use messaging apps such as GroupMe, Line, WeChat, or any other alternatives.   

New Apps and First Timer’s Guide

Also, be on the lookout for additional apps launching at SXSW or buzz about new wearable technologies and the Internet of Things. We’ve heard about some newer social networking apps such as Whisper and Secret. In addition, Samba will be presenting their new video messaging app that shows people’s reactions to videos. In the education sector, Tynker is planning on launching its iPad app to teach kids how to code. It’ll be interesting to see what other apps and wearable technology products pop up at the conference.

Besides downloading apps, you’ll also find this First Timer’s Guide by SXSW helpful. The guide will help newcomers and can serve as a checklist for SXSW veterans. We hope you have a good time! Do you have any additional apps you would recommend? Let us know in the comments.


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