Before leaving for the airport, I sat in an isolated part of the Convention Center and felt a huge part of me not wanting to leave. I have been to a few conferences now, but SXSW is a stand out favourite.
The location, the huge variety of talks available, the people, the parties… The fact you can also dip into film (and later music) events should you want to is an additional bonus. It’s all here, in a truly wonderful city.
Aside from possibly offending Shaun Inman the one night (nerves got the better of me and the conversation quickly turned into me being critical of aspects of his excellent work, for which I feel truly sorry about), I also got the opportunity to talk to a lot of other people I have tremendous respect for—hopefully without making too much of a fool of myself.
In fact I think I may have finally worked out this socialising thing. Tip—don’t start a conversation with ‘I’m a big fan of your work’, followed by silence! Just a simple hello, who you work for, ‘how is the conference going for you’ sort of thing is all that’s needed. Yes, it has taken me that long to work it out!
Cue the obligatory name dropping: Tantek Çelik, Jeremy Keith, Flat Hicks, Cindy Li, Ryan Carson, Andy Budd, Mark Boulton, Alex Beauxchamp, Kevin Lawver, Jeremy Suriel… thanks all for taking the time to chat with me. Hopefully I will be seeing more of these folks throughout the year too.
It continues… passed Ze Frank on the stairs at the Yahoo party, saw the actor Paul Rudd being interviewed at the Convention Centre, and the debate continues as to whether we saw Rainn Wilson in our hotel lobby or not. However, meeting Robert Scoble was bit of a let down, his eyes fixed firmly on his laptop (probably twittering) whilst me and Kyle introduced ourselves—poor show.
All in all, this has been an excellent couple of days—I just wish I could have been here for the full event, and planned it a bit better. You will notice the lack of commentary on the panels, seeing as I somehow managed to only go to five or six of the hundred plus available.
No business cards (should have gone to moo.com), no plan of attack for each day, no presentation for my 20x2 talk until 6am the morning of the event… mistakes I hope to learn from, for next year I will most definitely be back!