I can guarantee that SXSW is like no other conference you’ll ever experience. In a few days, you’ll establish connections, experiences and lessons you never thought possible; all painted against the eclectic backdrop of Austin, Texas. And there’s no amount of social media or Internet that can explain the vibe of walking down music-laden 6th Street or moving through a sea of convention center-goers. It’s tough to explain in words, even.
So here is my experience in pictures. And while it doesn’t cover everything (I missed the picture of Superman on a pedicab and the replica Mutt Cutts truck from Dumb and Dumber), it gives you a good sense of what recently went down in Austin, TX.
Sessions were packed. I enjoyed being in rooms with like-minded, excited attendees as we took notes on our various devices. Plus, networking between sessions was a no brainer.
Seeing the salesforce.com Cloud Lounge in person made all the prep time worth it. The spot stood out and was a great meeting ground throughout the show.
One of my favorite spots was the Samsung Blogger Lounge at the Austin Convention Center. Between sessions I could plug in, meet other bloggers and watch great interviews. Here are a few of them.
In addition to the sessions, lounges and people, there’s technology. Some of the latest startups reside at SXSW letting anyone try out the tech. Here I experienced Leap Motion, a gesture-based controller that lets you interact with your computer in a whole new way (goodbye mouse).
Back to sessions. I opted for many marketing and social media-focused topics, such as one from author Jason Lankow on infographics. And after feverishly Tweeting throughout the session, Jason Lankow and I took the conversation online shortly afterward.
I also tried some non-marketing sessions to relax the brain of work-related topics and learn new things. I opted for a session on science and comedy, where the concept of humor was broken down into a Ven Diagram.
Food is another reason why I’m so glad SXSW is housed in Austin. You can’t experience the conference without some street meat and back-of-the-bar burgers. And yes, it is all amazing.
While conferences are busy and time-consuming, I always try to make time for other things. My coworker, Jeff Cohen and I had a…weird experience.
SXSW is all about the people. I deepened relationships with those I see often, met the folks I only knew online and created new relationships with many amazing, talented marketers.
No matter how much online and social media marketing and networking you do, be sure to get out there and experience some real life, in person events. Conferences like SXSW are invaluable. So get your cowboy boots on, pack those business cards and get out there. And have some fun. That helps too.
For more pics, check out my Instagram.