Tuesday, March 10, 2015
SXSW Is About The PEOPLE
Each year there are dozens (if not hundreds) of blog posts written on the topic of how to maximize SXSW. The South by Southwest Festival is an amazing series of events (EDU, Interactive, Film, and Music) that bring tens of thousands of visitors to Austin, TX each March. I could easily produce a top ten list of suggestions that would be useful, but this event (and all other conference) come down to one thing. The people.
The investment of time and money to attend SXSW is steep, so everyone who attends wants to make sure they get the most out of each day. The festival kicks off each morning with speakers, panels and a trade show, but the fun goes late into the night with hundreds of official and unofficial parties taking place all over Austin.
In our social media crazy world it is easy to be nose to screen much of the time. Putting your attention toward your phone or tablet is tempting, as there is no fear that your iPhone will reject you. Checking to see what is said online about the SXSW happenings, and the desires to Tweet your activities to the world can be very strong. But the power at SXSW resides with the people all around you. Don't miss your opportunity to connect.
Relationships drive the success of an event, not the other way around. Too often we assume a great event brings networking opportunities, but the truth is the serendipity of conversations with the people you meet makes the event great.
My advice simple... To achieve the highest level of ROI at SXSW there is only one piece of advice:
Engage in live conversation.
You have to take ownership of instigating conversations. Say "hello" to people and many will be thrilled to chat with you. Do not over-think the social contract of being at a conference.... people come to learn and network, and some of the best learning comes from the impromptu "Hallway Conversations".
So, welcome to Austin and have an amazing experience at SXSW.
Have A Great Day
I hope to meet you at SXSW. Come to my panel presentation "Mastermind Construction Zone" on Saturday, March 14th at 9:30 AM.