Now that I’ve been, I realize that dissecting SXSW is a time-honored “aftermath” sport. Makes sense…this is THE social media crowd. OF course they are going to pound the blogosphere etc. before, during, and after.
I don’t have unique insights on how to navigate or embrace this behemoth of an event. But I liked this balanced write-up by Carla Thompson of Guidewire Group. I’m flattered she even quoted me in this post.
As for how Joanne and I specifically fared, here you go:
- We really didn’t get our sea legs until more than halfway through our four day stay. It’s just so massive, with 24 simultaneous panels and events running all day, and about the same number of parties at night. We were greatly assisted by Susan Strausberg, founder of Edgar Online, and recent Austin transplant. You have to get into some of the private events in order to make this scene manageable. Susan did that for us.
- We enjoyed a Boston folks meetup, pictured above. It was sort of shocking to feel like Boston had such a small presence at the event. Of course the photo only includes a tiny slice of New England attendees, but still…
- We had a good time at the Accelerator showcase party the night before the big day. I never even wore my black hat at that party–because no one else did! But people were good humored, and the event was (uncharacteristically) a good size.
- Alas, we decided to do some defensive eating just before the Accelerator cocktail party, and grabbed a burrito at a total dive, in a hurry. Big mistake. I got food poisoning. To put a not very fine point on it, I puked my guts out all night and nearly up until the time I had to hit the stage for my presentation. As such, I walked into the Hilton like some blond, pale Michael Jackson persona (head down, sunglasses, don’t talk to me please) storing up every molecule of energy for the talk. I did fine. But it took five days before I really ate another full meal.
Bottom line. Very glad to have seen the legendary event, and to do it with my co-founder Joanne. If we go again, we will practically be pros. And at least we will know where NOT to eat.