So heres a quick list of what you need to know about SxSw, or ‘What I wish I’d known before I arrived’, suitable for Newcomers and even ‘old timers’:
- Say Hello and speak to everyone, there may be some important people to meet, standing right next to you. Ask them ‘where are they from’ then you will be well on your way to exchanging contact details.
- Ditch the freebies, from your welcome bag – if you are lucky enough to get a platinum pass you will collect three bags, don’t worry there are recycling points in the conference centre for plastic paper and aluminium.
- Go to all the parties – Its a lot of fun, soak up the Texan atmosphere, make new contacts and drink the free beer
- Be Polite – You may just be sitting next to your all time web hero, or your next big client.
Place you need to visit during you stay for SxSw:
- Supermarket – Wholefoods – The only vegetables and organic food you will get in Texas
- Cafe – Halcyon – Great vibe and nice food
- Hotel – The Hampton Inn Downtown – Do yourself a favour, stay here – it’s worth it
- Bar – Shakespeares Pub – Home of the Great British booze-up
- Drink – Shiner Bock and Lone Star beer – Most of it free at the parties you will get into with your pass
- Food – Tex mex, Mexican and BBQ – Meat, meat and lots of meat! – Probably the only thing you will spend money on is for lunches – Enjoy the Texan portions
Here are the sort of people you can meet at SxSw Interactive (in fact we met them all at SxSw08):
- Web Celebrities – Scobleizer, Kevin Rose (Digg), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Garrett Camp (Stumbleupon), iJustine
- News Reporters – Chris Valance (BBC), Jemina Kiss (Guardian), Business Week, Mashable
- Rock Stars – Moby – Yes, the bald headed DJ/Artist
- Start ups – Cal Henderson – Flickr
- Founders and Developers – Pownce and Digg
- The Big Players – Mozilla, Opera, Kyte and Google staff
- Web Creators – W3C members
- And even people from right here in Brighton!
Best of the Conference – Reccommended
- Best seminar – Probably any of the Keynotes, and the odder the title of the seminar the more intriguing it becomes.
- Best speaker – Probably realising that the blogger you admire is as clever in real life as well!
- Best experience – Get along to the Star of Texas 17th annual rodeo, and back at SxSw obviously building up networking skills at and around the conference.
You cannot really predict what is going to happen to you during your time at SxSw, but whatever you do just go with it, embrace the feeling and enjoy every minute. Otherwise you may regret turning down that outing that turned into a VIP pass to the party of the year!
Oh and get some rest before arriving, on the Sunday night at SxSw 25 parties took place.