For content marketers and tech enthusiasts, the most wonderful time of year falls in March, not December. From the 9th to the 13th, representatives from the world’s largest brands will flock to Austin to partake in networking, learning, and eating during SXSW Interactive. However, as any conference veteran knows, the SXSWi program can be overwhelming if you’re unprepared.

Percolate will be at SXSW in full force, and in addition to hosting an exclusive networking event for marketers on March 10, we’ve broken down everything you need to know to make your South By experience a success. Below you’ll find the definitive 2018 SXSW Needs, Wants, and the Nice to Haves for the Content Marketer.


With hundreds of topics to choose from, you have to be savvy about which official panels and sessions you attend. This year’s can’t miss? Swinging by Pinterest House to hear some of the world’s most innovative brands (including a few Percolate customers) discuss the future of Next Gen Content Marketing and how AI fits into your marketing strategy.

In between sessions, swing by our VIP event at Cru Wine and Food Bar on March 10 to swap essential SXSW tips, tricks, and horror stories. Meet marketing leaders from from some of the world’s largest brands and learn how they are using technology to prepare for the future of content.

And because you have to eat – we recommend checking out Tacodeli for authentic breakfast tacos (the Jess Special comes recommended from yours truly) and La Barbecue in East Austin for your brisket needs. Fair warning, you can expect lines, but they won’t be as long as what you’ll find at Franklin’s.


One of the biggest draws to SXSW, outside of the incredible sessions, is that it represents experiential marketing at its finest. If you have time this year, be sure to stop by HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Theme Park, where attendees can explore the two-acre recreation of some of the show’s most memorable scenes.

For drinks after dinner, ditch “Dirty Sixth” and head to Garage Cocktail Bar. Located in a downtown parking garage on Colorado between 5th and 6th streets, this grown-up, unassuming watering hole proves that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

After a night out, crawl into an organic Hästens bed at Hotel Saint Cecilia. Located in the South Congress neighborhood, this lodge’s vintage LP lending library will cure your FOMO, if you’re forced to leave town before the music festival begins. If Airbnbs are more your speed, check out Clarksville – from tiny homes to tricked out airstream trailers, this old Austin neighborhood caters to your every ‘grammable whim.

Nice to Have

In between thought-provoking keynotes and engaging panels that relate to your day job, attend a few sessions that simply pique your interest. If you’re not limited on time or energy this year, grab a loose meat sandwich and a rootbeer at the Lanford Lunch Box Pop-Up at the Volcom Garden, which is part of the marketing campaign for ABC’s Roseanne reboot.

For those of you lucky enough to stick around the city after SXSW concludes, stop by Franklin’s BBQ – the famous Austin joint that has sold out every day since its opening. Depending on your point of view, the restaurant’s policy of forcing even the rich and famous (read: Kanye West) to wait in the five hour line can make it worth the time investment.

Finally, for the Austin newbie looking to do it all – take a dip into Barton Springs – if the weather is nice – and swing by the famous HOPE Outdoor Gallery before it’s demolished later this year.

Not going to make it down to SXSW this year but want to learn more about our platform? Talk to a Percolate expert today.