Headed to SXSW Interactive Next Week

I’m getting more and more excited for my return to SXSW Interactive. Last year was my first visit and I was not sure what to expect or if it would be worth my time. It turned out to be more valuable then I expected. I hope this year will be similar.

Last year I enjoyed:

the people – Being a SXSW novice, I had no idea how much access to and interaction with industry leaders I would get. Senior decision makers, thought leaders, interesting and motivated people…

the panels – My brand and sentiment monitoring services benefited from the many agencies and vendors discussing their capabilities and goals. Monitoring, location based services, augmented reality, virtual advertising, social gaming, user experience, social giving…

the show floor – Besides all the swag and t-shirts, I was able to evaluate and research my industry while speaking with all services and technologies showing their wares on the trade show floor.

the events – Free booze and food is reason enough to love the events, but they were also interesting and a lot of fun. I talked digital strategy with a senior VP at a major agency partner while watching inebriated attendees doing karaoke. The tweetups and meetups were filled with energetic and friendly people. Sponsors offered free drinks with great music and entertainment.

I’m leaving for Austin next Thur and I will head back on the 15th with all this years interesting takeaways.