If you want to know what I do during SXSW, here it is:
1) fundraising (All of last weekend during Interactive),
2) brand awareness (Interactive --> Music including our party),
3) storytelling (meeting with media and social influencers),
4) partnership development (all week, especially during Music),
5) have fun (table stakes to be effective at any of these activities), and
6) supporting my friends and the overall creative community (seeing shows and attending panels and events primarily); and
7) encouraging visitors to support the locally-owned and operated businesses here in Austin from Sunroom to El Chilito. These are the businesses that make Austin what it is.
If you treat SXSW like an obligation, you'll be stressed. If you treat SXSW like an opportunity, you'll feel blessed.
Especially if you're an early stage startup CEO and founder here in Austin with a product almost everyone can benefit from at some point during SXSW.