For two weeks every March, all the planets and stars align in such a way that Austin, Texas becomes the center of the universe. At least that’s one theory (despite our name, we here at Rocketrip know very little about space - saving on business travel is more our thing). Another theory is that Austin just seems like the center of the universe because of all the visitors who flock to the city for SXSW, including Rocketrippers from companies like Bitly, Optimizely, and Ghostery. We caught up with three such travelers before the start of the festival to see what they expect of their time in Texas and how they beat their trip budgets during one of the most expensive travel occasions of the year.
- Jib Hunt (Senior Director, Brand Marketing at Ghostery)
- Ben Delk (Event Marketing at Optimizely)
- Samantha Boltax (Manager, Sales Development Team at Bitly)
Events & Booths They’re Looking Forward To:
Big Picture Testing: Beyond the One-Off Result
Saturday, March 14, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Presenters include Kyle Rush, Head of Optimization at Optimizely, and Sarah Newhall, Exec VP of Blue State Digital.
Bitly to the Future
Saturday, March 14, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
A Back to the Future themed party at Blackheart, on Rainey Street. Plus, check out Bitly’s booth for some more Back to the Future fun!
Marketo Engage Rage Party
Sunday, March 15, 9:00 PM - 1:00AM
Food, drinks, and 1,000 of your closest friends from the world of digital marketing at the Vulcan Gas Company on 6th Street.
Stand 129, 131, 228, 230
Attendees can get their picture taken with Ghosty himself(!). Stop by on the 17th to enjoy some St. Patrick's Day surprises.
How Many Hours of Sleep They Expect to Get Each Night:
“Seven to eight hours. If you’re a pro you know how to mix work and fun.” - Jib
“I usually like getting my 8 hours of sleep, but I know SXSW is so awesome I won't want to sleep for that long! So I'm guessing maybe 5 hours per night? The adrenaline of it all will keep me going!” - Samantha
“Four hours?” - Ben [Gulp.]
BBQ or Tex-Mex: Which Do They Prefer?
“Tex-Mex. Queso baby!” - Jib
“BBQ. I’m from Kansas City. I know where my loyalties are.” - Ben
“This is such a tough decision. Can I choose mac and cheese?” - Samantha
Tips for First-Timers:
Come to the show early before the crowds.
Enjoy the local bands on 6th Street at night.
Be prepared to have fun, and don't forget to hydrate!
Top Savings Strategies
More than twenty Rocketrippers are descending on Austin for SXSW, which amounts to some serious savings. Here’s how they’re doing it:
- Over 25% of Rocketrippers traveling to SXSW are staying with friends or with colleagues in a corporate apartment.
- 16% found cheap airfare by booking multiple one way tickets to and from Austin.
- On average they beat their SXSW trip budgets by 36%. One Rocketripper beat his budget by 84% simply by flying a low-cost carrier and staying with a friend!
Going to SXSW? Let us know what you’re up to by tweeting @Rocketrip!