Re: Austin 2019 - Help Please
If it's your first, I'd encourage you to spring for the Producers badge since it does get you into more events (e.g. BBQ), most of which fall under into that "networking" category you mentioned.
I highly endorse the lodging across the street for convenience. Short of staying at the Driskill itself, it's hard to beat.
Something else you might consider if the badge is giving you pause for thought:
Go ahead and get the Conference Badge and then put it out of your mind. When you arrive and pick up your stuff, if your adrenaline rush makes you feel impulsive, they'll even let you pay the extra remaining money for a Producers badge at check-in and let you upgrade. They probably up-sell anyway in case you forget, but I did that one year because all of a sudden, it felt like I never spent any money on the Conf badge anyway, since it was several weeks prior and already a sunk cost. Suddenly, it felt like I was only paying $200 for a Producers badge. Well, that's how I rationalized it.
Otherwise, yes... do (minimum) Thurs-Sun... trying to recall the Wednesday agenda, but wouldn't rule out Wednesday either since you're so close, but of course, that's an extra night of lodging overhead.