Well since I am just getting caught up after the SXSW interactive festival it's finally time to write a quick little wrap up post. This was my first year to actually buy a pass to the event instead of just going to all the unofficial meet-ups, lunches and happy hours. Even though I had a access to the festival, I still spent more time networking with people at the unofficial events than I did at the official festival activities.
The panels that I went to where not all that exciting I must say. Not that they weren't packed with good information it's just that nothing ground breaking was discussed or presented. Maybe it was just what I went to see. I guess when it's your job to be up to date with the latest in all things search marketing, your pretty much caught up with everything that's being discussed. Don't get me wrong it was really nice to be around all these like minded individuals and discuss what's going on in the world of SEO, SEM, local search, social, etc. With that said it seemed to be just a big meet up of these individuals from around the world. Which in is awesome in it's own right. That's why I will be back next year for sure.
What I found really impressive though was the size of the festival this year and all that was offered. It seemed like it went on forever across downtown Austin and even reaching farther than just downtown. Living in Austin and knowing what it's like when SXSW is not going on I had something to compare it to. The thing I kinda liked the most of the official festivities was the convention center floor. Whoa... there where a ton of new start ups, products and companies from all over the world. Very interesting to see all of the ideas that have popped up and how far things have come in just one short year.
If you come to SXSW you had better have a plan of attack for the whole week. If not you will get caught up going in circles trying to figure out what to do and by the time you do, the event you wanted to go to will be over. Next year I am just going to stick with the unofficial side of things. It seems like I make better connections that way. I don't know why it's just the way it is, maybe it's the whole outsider thing. One thing I would do is plan a recovery day at the end of the festival just to chill and de-compress if not you will be so exhausted you wont get much done anyway.
Hope to see you there next year!