South By Southwest

March 21, 2013

Filed Under: Austin
Photography by Getty Images
Austin, Texas

Nisha Chittal is the social media manager at Travel Channel, where she leads Travel’s social media strategy, campaign development and execution. She lives in Washington, DC, and likes books, blogs, restaurants and Instagram.

I went here to: Attend the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive conference.

I traveled here with: Several other Scripps employees who work in the social, mobile and digital space.

The best way to travel here is: Fly, unless you live in Texas and want to take a road trip.

I stayed at: The La Quinta Inn. Hotels are extremely tough to come by at SXSW -- ideally, you want a hotel in downtown Austin that’s walking distance to the convention center. To get one of those, be prepared to book months in advance -- book in August when SXSW registration opens if you can!

When it comes to packing, be sure to bring: An umbrella or raincoat -- you never know when there’s a surprise downpour in Austin during this time of year, and everyone will be raiding local drugstores for umbrellas -- it pays to bring your own. Also, if you’re attending interactive, everybody is draining their mobile device’s batteries all day at the conference -- so bring extra chargers and even a power strip!

The best thing I ate was: BBQ at Iron Works -- one of my favorite BBQ places in Austin -- be prepared to wait in line, but it’s worth it!

Don't miss: BBQ. Try Iron Works, Stubb’s, Lambert’s or Franklin. Or if you’ve got a car and are willing to make a little bit of a drive outside Austin, visit The Salt Lick.

Next time I will definitely: Book a hotel earlier to get one closer to the convention center!

My favorite part of the festival was: Meeting so many interesting people who work in digital and social media.

My advice would be: There’s a lot going on at SXSW and many attendees feel pressure to attend every event they possibly can. My advice is, take it easy! You can’t possibly make it to every event, so choose the ones that are most important, enjoy yourself, and don’t stress about trying to do everything.

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