Under the Radar at SXSW: Five Unexpected Things Not to Miss

Written by Mike Shea | Friday, Mar 7, 2014
SXSW at ACC photo by Merrick Ales

Although the blogosphere is always on fire with chatter about the big name artists and the usual venues, much of SXSW’s magic comes from stumbling across shows or interviews or films at times and places that you never gave a second thought. Last year, that might have been inside the Convention Center at Vampire Weekend’s show in Ballroom D or the 50 Cent autograph session in Exhibit Hall 5.

For your consideration -- five great things to add to your SXSW 2014 schedule that you probably weren’t expecting:

Digital Creative Job Market presented by Publicis Groupe. (Thursday, March 6 & Friday, March 7. Ballroom ABC. Free to the public.) Maybe you’re thinking about changing jobs or maybe you need to hire fresh faces with new ideas. More than 50 companies will have stands and thousands of potential workers will be walking the floor with resume-in-hand. And, oh yeah, Shark Tank will be holding live auditions.

Trade Show Block Party. (Tuesday, March 11, Exhibit Hall 3/4.) More than 500 booths featuring music, film, interactive technology and amazing ideas from the around the world. Plus free food and drink. It’s a smorgasbord of schmoozing and not to be missed.

Bloody Mary Breakfast Session with CeeLo Green (Saturday, March 15. Ballroom D.) Free breakfast tacos. Free bloody marys. CeeLo Green in an up close and personal interview. That, my friends, is worth getting out of bed for.

Lounges, Lounges and More Lounges. (Daily. Various locations.) Hanging out with like-minded souls is one of the great joys of SXSW and there are dozens of official lounges in the Convention Center and elsewhere around downtown Austin where badgeholders can chat or chill to their hearts' content. Some, like the Registrants Lounge in Brush Square Park, offer free beverages and the occasional bite of food. Whatever your interest or style there’s a lounge that will suit you to a T.

Radio Day Stage & International Day Stage. (Daily during Music. Ballroom D and Ballroom G.) The sheer volume of live performances, interviews, book readings, drinks, food and more is reason enough to check the Day Stage listings for amazing happenings in an intimate setting.

There you have it -- incredible experiences that can be yours under one roof at the Austin Convention Center (and slightly beyond).

Photo by Merrick Ales