[Friday, March 11]
As expected, South by Southwest (SXSW) is already a madhouse, and it hasn’t even really started yet. Fortunately for me, I arrived in Austin last night and picked up my badge before the mob descended upon the Austin Convention Center, the hub of all things SXSW Interactive.
(If you’re just joining me on this little adventure, please refer to my first post for more info on SXSW and SXSW Interactive)
I’ve only been to this conference once before, but I learned a lot from my first trip:
- Get your badge the day before.
- Prioritize your events, and make sure you can line up early for the ones you really want to attend.
- … (I’ll be right back, a line is forming)
Since we last spoke, I’ve sat through 4 different presentations. Whew! I’m beat, but excited.
Currently, President Obama is speaking to nearly 2,000 SXSW attendees (unfortunately, I was not invited to attend). But, that gives me time to talk to you, so that’s good.
Let me catch you up:
- First, I was one of the first in line to hear from SXSW Interactive Director, Hugh Forrest give the welcome address. Not only is it cool to hear from the guy who’s run this show for many years, but he also had great insight. One good takeaway: Simple connections lead to big things. I’m not great at networking, but this really hit home for me. You don’t have to make deep connections with strangers. All you have to do is make the first connection that might lead to great solutions in the future. For instance, Obama would not be making an appearance at SXSW had there not been a small connection made nearly a decade ago. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, you never know what it might lead to.
- After that, Professor and best selling author Jonah Berger gave attendees 11 ways to make the most of this conference. Click here for his list. If nothing else, they’re a great refresher and an excellent way to get in the right mindset for an event like this.
- I had to leave the Q&A session with Jonah Berger in order to get to the Hilton across the street from the Austin Convention Center for a pitch session with a group of Austin-based Ed Tech startups. My favorites: Beek, PenPal, and Schoolinks
Now, I’m headed to another presentation. What’s this one about? The growing importance of visual strategy.
See ya in a bit!
Saturday, March 12
Yeah, so, by “see you in a bit,” I mean. This event is packed full of stuff, wi-fi and battery life are consistent issues, and now it’s Saturday. Come join me in Day 2: Lessons Learned at SXSW