Finally it’s that time of the year that we geeks all love: SXSW Interactive. On Twitter, everyone is tweeting about it. On blogs, everyone is writing about it. In meetups and gatherings, everyone is talking about it. I actually feel bad for those people who won’t go and will have to survive the next 10 days of SXSW hysteria. But for those who will go for the first time, I fell obligated as SXSW sophomore to write up few tips I learned last year (I’ll skip all those tips like “use Twitter to see what’s going on” or “if you see Mike Harrington fist bump and don’t try to shake his hand”):
- Be open to meet new people: If you are going there just to attend to the panels and not be social, maybe you should look for some webinar or books on Amazon. Last year I started meeting new people (@jbrotherlove and @ shanifilms) few minutes after the take off and by the time we took the cab from the airport to the convention center it was five of us. Meeting new people makes things more fun (and if you share cab rides even cheaper).
- Party: We all know it: panels are just an excuse to recover from the night before and getting organized for the upcoming one. Here’s a good list of parties you should attend.
- Remember people around you are big on social networks: If you decide to get completely wasted, remember that anyone over there will at least a camera and something that can be used to tweet and share with the world your worst moments. Of course I know this because last year I was the one with the camera. Drink (I heard that after 4pm drinking water is not allowed in any premise), have fun, but don’t be stupid.
- Tell your family and friends that it’s ok if they won’t hear from you for the next few days: No, the problem isn’t being too busy to make a phone call between panels and parties. The problem is that there are going to be thousands of iPhone crashing the AT&T network. If you have any carrier pigeons at home, this is the right time to take them for a trip.
- Use your damn GPS: Last year eight adults men managed to walk right into the hood in search for a party because nobody thought about using the GPS devices (iPhones) that were sitting in their pockets.
- Save space in your luggage avoiding to bring t-shirts to wear: You are going to collect so many t-shirts from different companies that you really won’t have to worry about bringing your owns.
- Check the weather before you pack: I have no idea why last year I checked the weather the week before leaving and I didn’t double check the day I packed. Check this video to see what happened.
Are you going to SXSW?