Another SXSW – Another Dollar; Unless Somebody Else Is Paying, I’m Not Going

image SXSW 2012 - OMG you're gonna miss SXSW?

I’m not paying for my own badge to SXSW. (Clarification: I’d love to go, but I’d rather have paying work.)

<Here is my more recent post about NOT attending SXSW: #SXSW or #SXSbed: Sour Grapes, or So What, Why I Love SouthBy and Will Miss It This Year >

Therefore I have only a couple of ways to actually get into the biggest interactive conference of the year.

  • Volunteer
  • Get invited to be on someone’s panel
  • Beg Hugh Forrest
  • Get employed and have them pay
  • Get a client to pay
  • Steal a pass

While the conference is massive and cool, I believe the value is in the people you meet. I’m still merging and jamming with the folks I met in 2009 and 2010. And some of the ideas I learned are still part of my toolkit.

The truth is, however, it is a wonderful schmooze fest. When I was a panelist in ’09 it was a beautiful thing. They didn’t pay me, but they almost did. I got my badge free and it said “presenter” on it. (Impressive, right?)

The next year, I was between contracts and I was looking to boost my visibility and I bought my own ticket. And I worked the hell out of the show. I didn’t really do the parties at night. How in the world could I do those and make it back to the 8am sessions? The quote of the conference for me was some gentleman talking about all the young people from his company at their first conference. “I told them, I didn’t come here to party. Have fun. Knock yourself out.”

Now it’s 2012. Last year I missed the conference completely. And you know what? I didn’t really *miss* it. I followed some of the discussions on Twitter and looked at some of the presenter presentations. It looked like a great conference. But I enjoyed the Austin weather, where I live, and instead I hung out in the hammock and read, went offline and played tennis, hung out with my kids who were on Spring Break,  and rested up for the rock’n’roll that would follow the close of the interactive festival.

I think this year I might be a #SXSbed participant again, and take Spring Break as a break.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Check out these other posts about learning social media:

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The best part of SXSW for me is meeting up outside the conference with friends/colleagues that I rarely see. But even they’re not coming anymore. At that price point people expect more serious networking/biz dev and less “spring break for nerds.”

    1. I agree Jay. Perhaps we can just hook up with people we know more often. We don’t need SXSW for that. When’s our next coffee? (grin)

Leave a Reply

Close Menu