SXSW 2009 In Bullet Points-

I just got back from SXSW 2009 earlier than planned. It was nice, but last year was better. Taking 3 days plus the weekend off is just too much for my time schedule right now.

Here is a recap in bullet points (fresh from my memory!) –

  • 30% more attendance than last year. The blogger lounge was packed. No place to sit.
  • Lots more folks this year looking and networking for jobs. Fewer startups.
  • The “shwag” (free stuff at conferences that they give out) was seriously lacking.
  • You could sense that economy had altered the mood from last year. More somber.
  • How was the trade show? (A frequently asked question). In one word: Slow. Not as many startups, not as much energy as last year.
  • How were the panels? I only attended 3. Most people quickly realize that sessions isn’t where the real fun is (hint: it’s the lobby!). The first panel was on “Awesome Webisodes.” They talked about how hollywood and independent film makers are now leveraging the internet to build buzz. The second panel was Charlene Li’s “The Future of Social Networks.” You can see the whole presentation here. Main takeaway: You won’t have to keep adding friends to every new site in the future. The internet will know your friends and save them for you. Social networking will be MUCH smarter and integrated. A part of your life. The third panel was about comedy online. It had BJ Novak from the office. The panel was pretty funny (which is why I went), and also seemed to stress that online video is the next hot thing. I guess Shama.Tv was a smart move. = )
  • But, I didn’t get to go to SXSW. What can I do? If you didn’t get to go this year, don’t sweat it. You can get the information shared on panels and sessions online. Just find the person who spoke and follow their blog. You can also bet that MANY bloggers will be sharing what they learned. Most panelists will also put up their presentations on SlideShare. This is a great way to get the gist of the information. Network on Twitter. Start building relationships and plan to attend Blog World in October to connect face-to-face. Blog world is a more intimate version of SXSW.

Overall, I walked away with more meaningful relationships, some fun ideas, and 2 free t-shirts. = )

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  • http://www.iCu2.com Kevin Adair

    Well you and I saw SXSW 2009 just about identically. Except for your list of pals there, we had the same perspective. I bet we may have been at the same parties. The Convention center lobby and the hotel lobbies were wild. The bar parties were over the top. The Gingerman, The Belmont, The Madison,Emo’s, Stubbs, just to name a few venues.
    I even got 2 free t-shirts.
    If I plagiarized this write up I could use my pictures to back it all up :)
    It was a great weekend. I wanted to stay another day.
    Can’t wait for next year. Thankfully I can drive home from Austin. See ya

  • http://www.iCu2.com Kevin Adair

    The weather was awful and my feet are killing me from all the standing and walking we did. Today was nice. I just had to get home to Corpus Christi. My wife and I decided next year to see more of the entire show we would rent a place next year. Either down in Gruene or in Austin. My son goes to school there. I love Austin.
    Maybe we can meet next year. Have a great Spring Byeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • http://www.IlluminationGalleries.com Jay Smethurst

    Shama,
    One of your comments in particular intrigued me — the “real fun” taking place in the lobby at SXSW. Was this structured? Facilitated? Documented? Enabled in what ways? Or is the culture of this conference simply to ignore the formal agenda and meet the people you want to meet with in the lobby?
    http://resultsengine.blogspot.com/2009/03/where-real-fun-is.html

    jaysmet

  • Shama Hyder

    Hey Kevin-

    Yes, the walking in Austin is nuts! Especially when you are used to Dallas driving. A house is a great idea. We rented one, and it was perfect!

    Hey Jay-

    It’s just the culture of the conference. The agenda is dropped for spontaneous lunches and meet-ups.