SXSW. What can we say. It is a magical place of tech, music, art, and BBQ. Rookies and veterans will flock to Austin soon, in order to have both the time of their lives and to ramp up their business. But amidst all of the conventions, parties, and excitement, it can be easy to forget the basics. So, allow us to help out, unless you want to be stranded in Austin screaming, "I should have listened to Karma!"

  1. Devices! Don’t forget to bring your much beloved devices. Your phone, laptop, and tablet. While you are going to have a good time, many of you will be there for work purposes or to increase your own business. Nothing makes the job easier than the right tools. Bring and use those tools.

  2. Cables! Ah, those pesky charging cords. All tangled up in your bag. Depending on what you are bringing, you may have more cords than you can keep an eye on. A good trick is to keep them in separate, tiny bags. You can also pick up a cool cord organizer named Cordito from the Grand St. store. For more orginzation space, try the Grid-it.

  3. Cameras! Now, we all know that your smartphone is the easiest camera to use, but don’t forget that it is not the best. If you have a good DSLR camera, you’ll want to polish that off and bring it along with you. For the more adventurous side in you, consider grabbing a GoPro. Austin is a beautiful city, and it would be a shame if you did not get a chance to bring back some brilliant photos of Texas. Memories my friend, memories.

  4. Battery Packs! Man, it would be a real bummer if you’re halfway through your busy day and you get the dreaded “Low Battery” message. But listen, it’s easily preventable. Just grab a reliable old USB battery pack, and you can dance through your day worry free. Check out the stylish power accessories from AViiQ or Mophie.

  5. Water Bottle! Many of the places you’ll go to will most likely provide beverages, but it can get pretty warm in Austin. Also, with all that talking you’re going to be doing, you might get parched. Having some nice, clean, fresh water with you at all times can only have positive benefits. And when you are running low, remember to fill it up! You won’t regret it. For water bottles, the popular Bobble is a great one for filtered water on-the-go. If you're more into the durable, steel kinds, there are plenty of custom ones from Mizu.

  6. Lightweight Headphones! Since you will be out and about for most of the day, you may find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to utilize Hangouts or some other conference app to talk with coworkers or friends. You may even have some time to yourself, where you’ll want to listen to some tunes. Though, there will be plenty of live music around, too. Skullcandy has some fun options. Or, you can always go with the classic Apple EarPods.

  7. WiFi! Well, you probably already know where this is going, huh? Do we really need to tell you the reasons why you need WiFi and which WiFi you should have? You don't want the stress of the overly-packed conference WiFi, the unusable hotel connection, or the old coffee shop dilemma. Give yourself a break, would ya? There’s only one choice, Karma! Grab your own right now.

  8. Sneakers! That’s right, comfortable sneakers. Sounds obvious, huh? If you are really getting the most out of SXSW, you will likely be on your feet all day. Do not underestimate the power of some comfortable shoes. Trust us. The Nike Zoom are always a great foot hugger. But oldschool New Balances are just as good.

  9. Extension Cords! Didn’t think of this did ya! Those hotel rooms don’t have many wall outlets, and your Airbnb might not either. Bring one with you and you’ll be a happy camper, we promise. Especially at the end of the day, when you and your tech toys are both out of juice. We recommend this power strip from Monster.

  10. Apps! Depending on what shenanigans you get into down in Austin, having some apps already on your phone can be helpful. For starters, the offical SXSW app, which provides you with loads of information you may need to know. The Eventbrite App for your event tickets, Uber for rides, Foursquare for finding great local places to eat, Sunrise for your calendar events, and Shazam for great songs you may hear around the area. Lastly, our very own Karma App, so you can easily stay engaged with your WiFi experience. There are so many helpful apps. Be sure to find the ones that you think fit your trip best.

So take it from us, be prepared. Don't make us say we told you so (even though we did tell you). Most importantly have fun. SXSW is a fantastic event, overflowing with creativity and inspiration at every corner. God speed!


About Dave Ford

That guy who knows more about sports than technology