Mar 14, 2024 - Business

48 hours in Austin

Illustration of the letters "ATX" writing onto the screen in the form of a lasso.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

SXSW is overwhelming, whether you're a first-timer or a veteran of the weeklong festival.

Here's what I experienced while on the ground in Austin:

👀 What I saw: Big brand activations from Audible, Porsche, La Croix and Paper Mate — which was a real crowd favorite.

  • I also attended SXSW panels on geopolitics and managing global crises before popping over to the Female Quotient's Equality Lounge for views of Lake Austin and conversations about the gender gap.
  • Later, I dropped by the Inc. Founder's House for a Topo Chico and talk from fintech founder Suneera Madhani.

🦻🏻What I heard: There was a lot of chatter about the potential TikTok ban and what it could mean for creators, brands and news outlets.

  • Communicators and marketers were also abuzz about AI's advancements in personalizing the user experience and what an AI-curated content bubble might mean for society.

🌮 What I ate: The most insane fajitas at La Piscina in the Austin Proper Hotel (hat tip to our local tour guide, Axios Austin reporter Nicole Cobler).

🛴 How I got around: As a chronic over-booker who's still adjusting to the logistics of in-person meetings, it was Bird Scooter or bust.

  • While I was apprehensive at first, all it took was a little nudge from Axios publisher Nicholas "Do It for the Content" Johnston for me to quickly realize that scootering was by far the fastest way to get around SXSW.

⏳What I missed: A lot (most notably the Black Keys).

  • Next year, I plan to enlist AI tools to help map out my session schedule and determine how best to manage my time.

📧 Did you attend SXSW? Share your thoughts.

Go deeper... Check out Axios Austin's guide to free programming and music happening around town.

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