16 3 / 2010
This week thousands of visitors will inject $100M into the Austin economy during the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. Plane tickets, hotels and incidental expenses can quickly add up for entrepreneurs, filmmakers and/or musicians. The Postabon team is always looking for a great deal – here are five tips that may be helpful next year:
1) Buy Aftermarket Tickets: SXSW encourages visitors to buy tickets early with a graduated pricing schedule. Some of these tickets flood the aftermarket in the weeks before the event as would-be attendees run into conflicts. This year Interactive and Platinum tickets sold for $350 and $700 respectively (compared to $550 and $1,225).
2) Priceline Your Hotel: Check out betterbidding or BiddingForTravel for recommendations from guru’s who manipulate Priceline and Hotwire’s pricing interface. This year users found rooms for $50/night at the downtown Holiday Inn less than a week before the event. Also check out AirBNB for ~170 couches starting at $25/night.
3) Fly to San Antonio: San Antonio is around 75 minutes away and accessible by bus or train. I didn’t do this but wish I had; expect to find flights from NYC for as little as $200 and avoid a 90 minute security line at the Austin airport.
4) Rent a Bike: SXSW panels can be 20 minutes apart. Renting a bike is a cheap way to get around that’s also safe(r) for after parties. Bicycle Sports Shop rents bikes for $22/day. This year I drove a moped that was even more fun than it looks ;D
5) Get Swag: Sponsors dole out lots of swag at SXSW in hopes of gaining attention/traction with early adopters. Check out great deals on sites like Postabon to navigate your way through open bars. Also consider attending events sponsored by one of the few companies that are actually making money. This year Groupon gave away free iPhone chargers at their recovery breakfast.
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