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SXSW 2010 Primer
We are less than a month away from the big conference down south known as SXSW — the 2010 edition. This will be my 5th year making the trip to Austin and I hear that this year will have the highest attendance to-date. I’d like to share some misc. tips for attending the conference and feel free to look through our SXSW archives containing hundreds of posts, images and videos. I’ve posted some of my favorite pictures from the last few years below with some bonus commentary on each photo.
- You won’t do everything you planned to and you will do more than you expected – after you have gone through the hundreds of sessions, circled the ones you are interested in and hit the convention center, you won’t make it to all of them. You will meet people and wind up walking off for side meetups and networking along with attending sessions that aren’t on your list. It’s ok, SXSW is all about relaxing and just going with the flow and being flexible.
- You can call the conference “south by southwest” or “sxsw” – never “south by” – thank you for your adherence to this important notice
- Bring sneakers or some sort of comfortable shoes - the amount of walking you will do is just immense.
- If you are attending SXSW and representing your startup, be ready to talk about said startup. Have your pitch down – practice, practice, practice. Have a 30 second, 2-minute and longer versions ready.
- Another startup request – I want you to say “hello” or “hi” at least 10,000 times while you are at the conference. Your goal should be to walk away with meeting as many people as possible.
- People attending SXSW are very approachable. If there’s someone you really want to meet and you see the person sitting on the floor or working on their laptop, just walk up and say “hi”. SXSW is the best place to meet the people you really want to meet because of the vibe. Make sure not to hang out with the same couple of people for the entire conference. I know it’s hard to meet new people – but the environment in Austin is seriously the best place to do it.
- The convention center is oddly-configured – apparently the designer thought it would be cool to make it near impossible to find the “3rd floor” so make sure you have the floor plan as many of the sessions are located on the third floor.
- The location for registration has changed this year. No longer will you have to wait in line for the long escalator ride upstairs – this year the registration will take place in one of the expo halls.
- Parties – there are a TON of parties throughout the SXSW conference. SXSW has a list (look at the bottom of the page for the full listing). There’s also an unofficial party list on Facebook. I believe Mashable has the biggest number of registrants for their party on Saturday late night.
- C.C. suggests that if you are planning to setup meetings, do it over breakfast. I very much agree with him – as the days wear on, it’s harder to keep scheduled appointment times.
- Don’t worry so much about updating the social networks or sitting heads down working on your laptop. Get out and meet people – and meet some new people! If you spend all of your days and nights in the blogger room, you won’t get the full value out of SXSW.
- Most importantly, have a good time, smile a lot and get ready to meet lots of new people!
Just like in previous years, I will be there and ready to shoot short videos about your startup or chat about my startup.
So there are some tips – please leave your tips in the coments and I will add them to the post.
The man formerly with AOL – Frank Gruber pimps the CN goods:
Sean Percival from MySpace can’t see any evil (bloggers):
The British are coming…The British are coming – the guy in the gray suit jacket top left is Mike Butcher from Techcrunch Europe – the others are from UK-based startups:
Here’s Louis Gray from Louis Gray and Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb discussing how to get a front-page digg, a techmeme lead and a re-tweet from Scoble.
See you at SXSW!