SXSW: Anticipations, thoughts and advice from a former Austinite

03/12/2010 at 10:48 AM 1 comment

As agencies are shifting towards more social media and “interactive”- based revenue, it’s time to start investing in your employees. Agencies now have a staff member on site as their “social media expert” and a slew of developers cranking out jQuery, Ruby, PHP and Javascript to handle their constant website and application launches.

Companies that are encouraging their employees to attend SXSW’s interactive conference will certainly be ahead of the curve on the latest trends and issues facing our 2011 budgets. In addition, these employees will have met and networked with some of the best in the business. So for those that are missing out this year, save money and mention this at the next status meeting: Top 10 Reasons for Your Boss to Send  You to SXSW Interactive

As a former Austinite, it’s funny looking back to the early days of SXSW. A festival that was known to few, a local band Spoon that had yet to be discovered and the horrid concept of traffic had yet to encompass Austin. Each year, however, SXSW expands, gains popularity and finds better ways to manage the conferences, music events, etc., but this year, SXSW has taken the cake.

After it’s brief launch in January, the SXSW iPhone App has been modified, readapted and downloaded by thousands.  Props to the people who concepted the app and developers who spent countless hours creating this wonderful, wonderful tool. With it you can search events by Film, Interactive or Music and see them on a map, color coded by the three themes.

The coolest feature? It has turned business cards “green.” My Card is a helpful and convienient way to keep all those connections, especially after a hectic night on 6th street.

If you’re not already using this app, hurry up and download it, because from my Austinite perspective, this app couldn’t be more helpful, unless it gave traffic reports, but what can you do.

Here’s a highlight of just a few events that I’d like to attend at SXSW this year:

Jacks of All Trades or Masters of One?
Smackdown: Consumers Privacy vs Advertiser Revenue
Why Keep Blogging? Real Answers for Smart Tweeple
Big Brother in Your Brain: Neuroscience & Marketing
iPad: New Opportunities for Content Creators
Is WordPress killing web design?

And now, for some basic travel advice. In downtown Austin, the numbered streets run north and south. All others are named after the rivers of Texas (starting from the south on a map) and run west to east in downtown. So for all you that don’t remember Texas history in 7th grade, or are from out of state, starting West you have Rio Grande, and you end on Red River (just before 1-35). It’s best to walk downtown, so check with SXSW for shuttle options and park and ride options. Most of 6th Street will be pedestrian-only during the conference. Mopac is labeled as “Loop 1” in on all road signs, you will never see the words Mopac.

The further south you get, the better the Tex-Mex, so be sure to get your fill. Here’s a list of few great Local Venues close to the conference:
– Juan in a Million (East 1st, Adam Richman of Man vs Food attempted their Breakfast Taco Challenge)
– Amy’s Ice Cream (South Congress and another on W. 6th)
– Maudie’s Tex-Mex (S. Lamar)
– Dirty Martin’s (Guadalupe)
– Güeros (South Congress)
– Kitchen Door (Lake Austin Blvd)
– Sno Beach Sno Cones (Barton Springs Rd)

*And if you have time to drive
– The Salt Lick (original location only – Driftwood, Tx)


Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brian Wigginton  |  03/13/2010 at 2:20 PM

    Really wish I could have gone this year. Some of the talks at SXSWi looked really good.


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