My 14th go-round at SXSW consisted of many firsts – my first year attending as an Austin resident, my first year as an Interactive participant and my first year organizing the first annual San Diego Hoe-Down for the San Diego Music Foundation.
Attending both SXSW Interactive and Music required a 10-day commitment to learning, networking, eating, drinking and rocking – with very little sleep in between said activities. Interactive was bigger than ever with more than 15,000 attendees – at least 600 were technology media – jammed into overcrowded hotel conference rooms for five days, discussing everything from mobile apps and geo-location marketing to brand influence and customer service. Despite a few less than spectacular panels and speakers, and a lack of electrical outlets to recharge drained laptops and mobile devices, SXSW Interactive provided a fertile forum for discussion and brand building – both personal and professional.
A couple of key takeaways:
I’m tired, my ears hurt and I need to do a Master Cleanse, but I’ll definitely be back for SXSW 2011.