SxSW Interactive Mini Survival Guide
The hour-by-hour grid of panels, panel descriptions, speakers and speaker bios for the 2007 SXSW Interactive Festival has just been released.
It’s all getting a bit real now and soon geeks from all over the globe will be gracing the shores of Austin, Texas (well, if you count the river as a shore).
I am lucky enough to be talking on a panel this year, and also lucky enough to be speaking the first day so I can relax afterwards and really enjoy the evening activities.
This almost all-female affair will discuss the life paths of five ex-coders, who have either completely removed themselves from coding altogether or just stepped away from the day-to-day work they used to do and explain their decisions in doing so. Come check this one out as I think it will make for a pretty interesting panel.
Now I mentioned we managed to be speaking the first day, which suggests there might be possible strategies to ensure your visit to SxSW will go as smooth as possible. For anyone lucky enough to be going for the first time this year, I would love to impart one or two pearls of wisdom from my experiences attending last years event.
- Things to do in Austin
- Shoot a gun
- Go on a segway tour :-P
- Go to the mall (if you’re Australian, you might understand this one)
- Check out Congress Street
- Buy cowboy boots or simply dress up like one
- Don’t stress about seeing them all or trying to see the best… there are wayyyyy to many panels going on at once and they all end up podcast and on the website after the event
- The best panels are rarely the ones from the big names. SxSW is really about supporting the underdogs and getting new speakers up there for the first time, many of these can really be engaging
- Don’t waste your time reading through all the panels beforehand and coming up with an itinerary before you arrive (yes, I was that anal last year). This itinerary will fall apart the first day when you see the first few panels and talk to people at the conference
- Try to support people you have never heard of… just go to the panel based on a topic that sounds interesting. Some of these panels will be the ones everyone ends up talking about all next year
- Must see speakers for me are: Cameron Moll, Aaron Gustafson, Jeremy Keith, Cameron Adams, Kelly Goto and anything that Henry Rollins does (yes, he was there last year and it ruled!). These guys put a lot of energy and time into each speaking gig I have seen them do.
- Talk to them… that’s what SxSW is all about
- Evening Events
- Go to the first one, go to the second one, don’t go home… seriously.
- Some events were RSVP only last year, so get on Upcoming.org and sign up for them now
- Keep on truckin’ until you end up drunk in some pizza joint on Congress with a thousand other drunk geeks wondering how the hell they are going to manage getting up for the first panel in the morning
- Parties to watch out for: The 2nd Annual Avalonstar Bowling Extravaganza, Media Temple closing party, The Great British Booze-Up and perhaps wrap it all up with Breakfast with Dustin (if we can convince him to host it again)
See you there!