Guest article by Lindsey Moringy
If you’re like me and are prone to serious FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out,” as the youths call it), South By Southwest can be a very stressful time of year. Every March, SXSW attracts thousands of music, film and technology enthusiasts from all over the world to participate in much-talked-about concerts, film premieres, interactive events and more. Along with this influx of entertainment and people come hundreds of parties, many of which don’t require any sort of festival credential to attend.
Sounds great, right? This means you can enjoy free SXSW events and parties without having to sell your Volvo in order to purchase a swanky badge.
Well, there is a catch. Most of these parties require an RSVP for entry.
If you’re like me, the idea of wading through hundreds of online party descriptions to figure out which ones are most appealing (read: are giving away free breakfast tacos) seems overwhelmingly nightmarish. Luckily, one Austin company does all of the hard work for you: RSVPster.
How RSVPster Works
RSVPster is a service that automatically registers its users (people who have badges and people who don’t) for hundreds of SXSW parties each year.
When you sign up, you receive a calendar of all events as well as information on what bands are playing each party, where the venue is located and more. RSVPster also monitors rumors of who is expected to play the festival and announces major acts once they’re confirmed.
Basically, it saves you the stress of navigating and individually RSVPing to tons of cool shindigs, and makes it easy for you to decide what you want to attend.
The best part? The service only costs $30-$40 (depending on your interests). You’ll easily make that fee back in free alcohol and food.
How RSVPster Got Started
Local Jennifer Sinski had the idea to create RSVPster when she realized her group of friends was always trying to keep track of which parties to go to, and which ones required an RSVP in advance. Sinski has worked full time in public relations and event marketing in Austin since graduating from Southwestern University in 2009, and she has been attending SXSW since 2006.
“I was usually the one who would RSVP for my friends, and followed announcements about events on social media,” Sinski says. Eventually, she realized she could provide the same service for a large group of people, and thus formed RSVPster with co-founder and web developer Miles Dahmann in 2011.
Since its creation, RSVPster has grown to over 6,000 registered users and 15,000 Twitter followers. Sinski says they’d like to stay around this number of users “in order to give those who sign up the best selection of event options.”
Why This Service Benefits Locals
While there are many Austinites who purposely avoid the downtown area during SXSW each year, there are just as many who decide to venture out and enjoy the hype. Sinski points out: “For locals, our schedule gives a good lay of the land for everything going on, and allows anyone viewing the calendar (which is free, you don’t have to have an account) to see all of the event options at any given time during the festival.”
Aside from registering users for parties and sharing the latest rumors of who’s playing, RSVPster also gives bands, venues and companies looking to host parties a place to advertise and coordinate. They’ll even help get the word out about your event.
So if you don’t want to be that person who shows up to a bumpin’ party during SXSW only to be told you aren’t on the list, give RSVPster a chance. More information and registration details can be found at rsvpster.com.
Lindsey is a native Austinite who loves all things local. In her spare time she enjoys running around Town Lake, eating Tex-Mex, and writing bios about herself.
Cover photo via Ian Aberle via Flickr CC.