Did you know that South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin features film and interactive conferences as well as music? Tomorrow, I’m headed to SXSW Interaction. I’ll be blogging and tweeting about what I learn. And hopefully also eating BBQ and listening to the Blues.
I picked SXSW for my first conference because I like Austin. I could have picked any of these listed by the experts at Mashable: 24 Professional Events & Organizations for Social Media Strategists. Here’s the event description from the organizers of SXSW:
SXSW® Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the incredible new SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer.
There are thousands of events in multiple categories. I’ve been pouring over the schedule for weeks, trying to decide what to attend. I’ve finally narrowed my selections down to about 3-4 in each time slot from 8 AM to midnight (or beyond, though I think I’m too old for “beyond”). My guess is that I’ll end up running from room to room–or bar to bar–until I get tired and then I’ll land wherever I happen to find an empty seat or room to stand. This may be why SXSW’s first-time visitors’ tips emphasizes reading the convention center map carefully and wearing good, supportive shoes.
There is wifi everywhere at SXSW, so I fully expect everyone will be half-listening as they tweet, post on Facebook, or blog about what’s going on in the room or who they saw standing in the hotel lobby that morning. If they’re bored, they’ll be checking email or texting each other about where to have drinks and dinner that night. Just like they’re in a meeting at work! It will be really funny if I see the panelists doing this, too.
However, I’m going to try to pay attention, since I don’t have a corporate expense account and if I don’t get a lot out of this, the sacrifice of the money I could have spent on a real vacation is gonna hurt.