As a startup founder, I found it hard to commit to attending SXSW until the past week, and I don’t have the time to spend goofing around hunting for a cheap ticket. I need the purchase to be transactional. SXSW will gladly sell you a last-minute pass for $950. But that’s expensive, and I’d rather spend my money building Badgy than on inflated ticket prices.
Time for our old friend eBay. A quick search for “SXSW Interactive” tickets with the “Buy it Now” option brings up several $600 options. Quick $350 savings. Amazingly, that’s just $5 more than what people paid if they committed to the “early bird” rate before September 23rd. I did this yesterday afternoon, swapped emails with the seller while I was at the gym, and had the pass transferred by 6 pm. Fast, transactional, cheap.
If the supply of $600 passes dies out on eBay, $700 seems like the going rate on CraigsList. A little more expensive, and less transactional, but still doable.
I can’t really help you with cheap airfare or lodging. The cheapest option for lodging would probably be to rent a van and sleep in it. And you can probably stay pretty close to all of the happenings. For next year, and really for any big event, a great option is to pre-book a room with a loose cancellation policy on AirBNB long before the renters and everyone else realize they need to book and jack up the rates for that week. If you decide you’re not going on the trip, you’ll only lose the AirBNB booking fee (10% of the overall price) when you cancel. I did this for the Super Bowl and was able to stay walking distance from all of the festivities in Indianapolis.
If you’re going to SXSW, let’s meet up! Give me a call or text at 404-663-9945, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.