1. Ice Breaker Buttons
SXSW isn’t really about the music, the films, or the interactive conferences; it’s about meeting new people! And why not make those initial introductions a little easier with some ice breaker buttons. “When meeting in person for the first time, it’s a whole dance about to hug or not to hug,” says Lizz Porter of amiafunnygirl.com, designer of this hugger button set. Porter originally made these buttons for BlogHer13, but the concept could easily be applied to SXSW and other conferences. And they’ll definitely get people talking!
2. Name Tag Buttons
If you’ve purchased an official SXSW badge, at registration you’ll receive one of those plastic name tags and a lanyard. While the lanyards are great (especially to collect buttons on!), your name can be hard for others to see with the badge hanging down around your belly button. That’s why I suggest button name tags. With a permanent marker, you can write your name on any large button and wear it on your lapel, up where people can actually read it!
3. Band Buttons
If your band is performing at SXSW, you definitely want to leave a lasting impression with the audience. Not just with the music, but with the merch as well. Chicago poet and rapper Brandon Williams does this well with his 2.25-inch glow in the dark buttons— why not try them for your band?
4. Meme Buttons
With Grumpy Cat’s 2013 appearance and panels like “The Making of a Meme” and “Why We STILL Love the Honey Badger”, you might say that SXSW has become a festival for memes. Join in the fun by creating some meme buttons of your own, like these Nyan Cat buttons.
5. Artsy Buttons
One of my favorite parts of SXSW is Flatstock, the giant poster co-presented any the American Poster Institute. Since the show features the world’s top gig poster artists all selling their art, you’ll want to make some fun, creative buttons to fit in. These letterpress buttons by Amber Favorite of a. favorite design definitely fit the bill.
6. Souvenir Buttons
Skip the high priced cowboy boots and “Keep Austin Weird” paraphanalia and instead create a souvenir of your own. These customizable buttons are a fun way for you and your friends to chronicle your trip. Just use a permanent marker on these 2.25-inchers (free button template here) and write in all the exciting or random activities you participate in at SXSW.
7. Buttons That Open Beer
Probably the most important button to have at SXSW— the beer bottle opener button. SXSW is known as the spring break for creative professionals, so these babies will definitely come in handy.