This is the first time that I have attended SXSW and after yesterday, I can say that it definitely lives up to its billing and all of the stories that you have heard are true.
The networking opportunities are tremendous. Yesterday I ran in Pete Cashmore CEO and founder of Mashable in the Hotel lobby and Dharmesh Shah, founder of Hubspot, provider of Inbound Marketing Software at an event sponsored by Oneforty, which is a company that helps to people find, rate, collect and share twitter applications.
There are sessions here for everyone and the tracks are well organized. However it can be a little overwhelming if you do not prepare your tie in advance. I was told that I should try to pick out 3-4 sessions -- 1 per day -- that you really want to attend and make sure to get to those, but other than that, try to find out where others are going, or just play it by ear, because you never know who you will run into and what information that they have to share with you.
During registration they hand out a 256 page booklet that has everything that you need to know about SXSW -- except for the “off of the grid” networking opportunities and parties that are pretty tough to find out about. The booklet helps to set the tone of each day, but thankfully they also provide you with a ‘Pocket guide” to all of the sessions and you don’t have to lug the 3 lb booklet around.
So what am I expecting out of the conference? I am hoping to validate my feelings and thoughts around Social applications for businesses, both for internal and external purposes. I am hoping to learn from thought leaders in the industry and see what their current and future thoughts are. I am also hoping that I can reconnect with people that I have met over the last 10 years.
I am happy to say that so far the conference is meeting and exceeding my expectations. I hope that you enjoy my perspective of the conference and please look for daily updates on this site.