5 Lessons From my 1st #SXSW Interactive

1. Only Bring What is Necessary

For some reason I end up bringing more stuff than what I need. Take a look at what you need to sustain you during the day. A water bottle preferably one that you can refill might be the most important thing you might want to carry.

I will create a list of the critical gadgets I will be taking and carrying with me if you want to receive the next posts via email feel free to subscribe.

Keep in mind that the days are long and when you have to carry a lot it can slow you down and make you uncomfortable.

2. Browse the Schedule

After being in SXSW last year I realized that to much planning can actually hinder you from enjoying your time at SXSW. Pick a session or two a day which you want to go to. Meet up with someone you know online or join them to one of their sessions.

Like many will tell you and I have heard before, the most of the value you get out of SXSW comes out of the networking you can do in Real Life.

If you are not convinced feel free to read C.C. Chapman’s post “Yes I’m Going to SXSW, But Not to Your Party.

3. Which of your Contacts will be at SXSW?

Last year by accident I met the founders of @lanyrd (@simonw and @natbat).  I had already mentioned their app as one to use in your planning before you arrive at the conference in my SXSW 1st Timer Quick Guide.

Lanyrd.com will help you identify who of your contacts on twitter will be attending or speaking at SXSW (or pretty much any other conference). Make sure to open your account and update your assistance at SXSW or future events.

4. Stay Informed & Connected

This year, I have been using Google Plus. I created a SXSW Circle to stay up to date on the conversations and information being shared by those who will attend. This can also help you meet people in advance before arriving at SXSW. If it is your first time this can be very helpful.

Last year I had the opportunity to get great tips from @cc_chapman. If you have any questions I can probably answer a few since this is the second year I will be going.

5. Some Prep Before You Arrive

Make sure you order your pack of Meet-Meme cards which are a fun way to connect people from offline to online. They are also a cool and economical replacement to traditional business cards.

Meet-Meme Social Trading Cards - Make an instant personal connection

If you want to save some money on transportation companies like Freshbooks (affiliate link) have a free shuttle if you are arriving on the 8th to take you from the Airport to the convention center.

Any other suggestions or tips on getting ready for SXSW?