How To: Go To SXSW Without a Badge

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

This past weekend was my first interactive experience with SXSW and it was SO MUCH FUN! I've never been much of a festival girl {I hate crowds and public restrooms} so I didn't know what to expect. Luckily my experience was beyond amazing; I ended my weekend feeling very inspired and ready to move forward with my plans. As a bonus, I met many amazing women along the way! 

Mimosas and fresh flowers at Laurel & Wolf SXSW Camp

Although I've been working on Nicole Sometimes for a few months, I officially launched my blog last Friday and was very excited to see so much traffic coming my way {thank you SO much!}. I've gotten a few messages from girls -newbie bloggers like myself and readers- asking how they can get involved and participate in SXSW events. I am no expert by any means but this is how it happened for me:

  • Follow:  I follow my favorite brands on Instagram, in this case Laurel & Wolf and Create + Cultivate. I saw C+C did a post on having a pop-up conference during SXSW and immediately went to their website to find out more and RSVP. I also like to interact with the C+C girls on social media, they are very friendly and responsive. Not that this made a difference in getting into the conference, but it did make me feel like I knew them before I even walked into the boutique that hosted the event. 

  • Interact: During the conference, Laurel & Wolf mentioned they had some events happening during the weekend, including a flower crown making workshop with Margo Blair Floral {who I also been following on IG for a while because she is AH-MAZE-ING}. They had me at fresh flowers so I asked about attending and the super friendly girls from L&W told me to just show up. So I did. 

Carly's flower selections ready to be turned into pretty crowns at Laurel & Wolf Camp.

  • RSVP: Keep in mind that a lot of events at SXSW are RSVP or invite only. But there are plenty of free gatherings for everyone! Do find out if your favorite brands/influencers will be in town during the festival and what you could do to participate and meet them. And get there early! Venues fill up quickly. 

  • Network: Talk to everyone! Networking is HUGE if you are trying to start a business. In my case, the blogging world is very new to me so I want to learn and absorb as much as I  can from anyone who is willing to share their experience. I met so many amazing women but didn't get to talk to everyone, luckily I'm not the only one who feels that way so I had the lovely Erin Bradley from  Of The People Agency reach out to me to invite me to their party. I did my RSVP and showed up on Sunday with my husband and  a couple friends. We had the best time!

The lovely set up at the Of The People Agency cocktail party.
There are still so many places I wanted to stop by but  didn't have time. If only our SXSW days were twice as long!

  • Wear: The first day at SXSW I wore heels since I knew I would be sitting down most of the day at the Create + Cultivate conference, but I did pack a pair of sandals in my bag to change into after happy hour. We ended up grabbing dinner at La Condesa {great Mexican food!} and then walking a couple miles to see a show. The second day I wore sandals and brought my big leather Madewell tote bag since I had my DSLR and other goodies. Plan your outfits accordingly, in my opinion, the right shoes can make or break your day. 

From Left to Right: Leura Fine - Founder & CEO of Laurel & Wolf, Olivia Wetterau - L&W Special Events Coordinator,  Stephanie Yates - Stylist at Stitch Fix, Carly Blair - Owner of Margo Blair Floral. 

And here's a few iPhone snaps from Saturday:

Hope this post was helpful. Until next time!


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