I'm not paying for my own badge to SXSW. (Clarification: I'd love to go, but I'd rather have paying work.)
<Here is my more recent post about NOT attending SXSW: #SXSW or #SXSbed: Sour Grapes, or So What, Why I Love SouthBy and Will Miss It This Year >
Therefore I have only a couple of ways to actually get into the biggest interactive conference of the year.
- Get invited to be on someone's panel
- Beg Hugh Forrest
- Get employed and have them pay
- Get a client to pay
- Steal a pass
While the conference is massive and cool, I believe the value is in the people you meet. I'm still merging and jamming with the folks I met in 2009 and 2010. And some of the ideas I learned are still part of my toolkit.
The truth is, however, it is a wonderful schmooze fest. When I was a panelist in '09 it was a beautiful thing. They didn't pay me, but they almost did. I got my badge free and it said "presenter" on it. (Impressive, right?)
The next year, I was between contracts and I was looking to boost my visibility and I bought my own ticket. And I worked the hell out of the show. I didn't really do the parties at night. How in the world could I do those and make it back to the 8am sessions? The quote of the conference for me was some gentleman talking about all the young people from his company at their first conference. "I told them, I didn't come here to party. Have fun. Knock yourself out."
Now it's 2012. Last year I missed the conference completely. And you know what? I didn't really *miss* it. I followed some of the discussions on Twitter and looked at some of the presenter presentations. It looked like a great conference. But I enjoyed the Austin weather, where I live, and instead I hung out in the hammock and read, went offline and played tennis, hung out with my kids who were on Spring Break, and rested up for the rock'n'roll that would follow the close of the interactive festival.
I think this year I might be a #SXSbed participant again, and take Spring Break as a break.
Check out these other posts about learning social media:
- Mental Jujitsu: Nothing Ever Works Out, Get Over It and Get to Work
- Fixing Pinterest in One Slide – Improving the Usability of the Fastest Growing Site in Social Media
- Love, Valentine's Day Marketing, and Computers: Dell vs. Apple Marketing
- Social Media MBA – The Reading List
- Critical Path Strategies: How Are You Getting Things Done? What Are You Cutting Out?
- What You Capture and What You Share Is What You ARE (Do You Listen to the Sound of Your Own Voice?)
- Trippin Mobile Through the Social Media Networks: facebook, linkedin, txt, phone, email
- Pinterest and the Power of Social Bookmarking: Tag Yourself (Web Design is Dead)
- The ROI of Social Media – It’s Easy, Right? (return on investment)