SXSW Guide: Boost Your Professional Image at Events


You are a badass professional, so now you’re ready for Austin’s SXSW, right?  Not exactly. You want to be the best professional there, so it’s time to elevate your image before you arrive and during the conference! This involves preparedness, perfect representation, and the inside scoop. Before you go, here’s what you need to know!

Get your image right

Don’t just be another professional attending the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW), be the professional that everyone sees, admires, and wants to connect with.  Follow these steps to put your brand ahead of the rest:

1. Perfect your picture game

Before you go, make sure your professional image is exactly what it needs to be.  Don’t trust your selfie to relay the message.  Instead, go out and get professional headshots.  A photographer can make sure you are seen in the best light. 

2. Check your business cards

These are a must for a networking environment like SXSW.  You will be giving these out–and the people you give them to will receive many – so you don’t want it to be boring or ill-formatted.  You want it to wow people!  Make it stand out with fashionable formatting, pertinent information, and if you are using a picture – a fantastic head shot!

3. Clean-up your social media

Are people going to be creeping on your social media profiles after meeting you?  Hopefully!  If you made a good enough impression, you will see an influx of requests, so don’t turn people off from you with your sloppy profile picture.  Pick a picture that gives off a professional, I have it all together vibe.  

4. Be polished

What is the first thing you see when you look at someone?  Their clothes, hair, and shoes?  If so, you’re not alone.  Let’s be honest, we size people up to form a first impression.  Make sure your first look is professional and lasting, but for good reasons.  Polish your shoes, check your trends, and get your hair done!  

Get your image right 

Don’t forget these items

If you are just winging it and showing up, you won’t be a show stopper!  You want to be that person that everyone is so impressed with.  This takes bringing the right items.  Don’t catch yourself fumbling around to see if you have an extra business card – have a stack ready to hand out.  Here are some other items you’ll need to bring:

  • Resume – You could even put a link to it on your business card.  Either way, just make sure you have some ready to give out.
  • Headshots – You want to be remembered, so make sure it is great! 
  • Power strip – Find one you can easily slip into your bag.  People hog outlets at conferences, so if you step in to save the day with a power strip, you’re sure to make an impression!  
  • Moleskin notebook – You’ll want to take lots of notes.
  • Chargers – Don’t be the person that is trying to add a contact with no battery life on your phone!  Save yourself the embarrassment and bring a charger.
  • Snacks – Unless you want to buy a $20 granola bar, you should bring a couple of snacks to keep your stomach quiet.

Don't forget these items

Panels and networking

Now that you know what to bring, you’ll need to know where to go.  Check out these interactive panels and networking events to attend during SXSW week in Austin, Texas.

  • Making Film and Episodic Sessions–It runs March 11-14, and has some cool line-ups.  One to check out is 30 for 30 Podcasts: Audio Storytelling in Sports.
  • Getting to Yes: Communication and Entrepreneurship–On March 10, you can learn the skill sets needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
  • Badass Buying Power: Rise of the Millennial Woman–This panel on March 14 is going to be stellar!  With speakers from Fortune Magazine, SheKnows Media, and more, you are sure to gain a wealth of knowledge about the impact millennial women are having on advertising.
  • Interactive Mix at Six–This will be a fun event full of food, giveaways, cool experiences, but most importantly, opportunities to make important connections.
  • Registrants Lounge–March 10, 11, and 15, you can catch this networking event to meet other SXSW attendees.  

These are just a few of the awesome events you’re going to get to enjoy, learn, and connect with others if you attend.  And since we live in an app-driven world, ditch the schedule printout and download the SXSW GO app.  It allows you to create your own personal schedule.

What are you waiting for?  Go pack your bags, and if you need the best professional headshot for SXSW, contact us!

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