Countdown to SXSW

9 Mar

Photo thanks to gtmcknight's Flickr stream

February flew by in a snowy haze leaving little time for anything but work, work, and more work (as evidenced by my lack of blog updates). I’m really not sure how it happened, but March is here and with it SXSW!

As I type away I’m in route to Austin for my first SXSW and my pre-conference stress has finally subsided into all out excitement. For years I’ve read about the SXSW experience and now I finally get to experience the festivities first-hand.

Being the absurd over-planner that I am, last night I delved deep into the interwebs to start constructing my Austin experience. Deep down I know all my careful planning will be usurped by events of each day, but hey, it makes me feel better to get my ducks in row.

If like me, you need to have an action plan in place, I’ve outlined below a few resources I found and things that I’m glad are ticked off my checklist.

Have I left anything off my checklist? Do you have a great SXSW resource? Let me know! And, if you are going to be in Austin I can’t wait to see you there!

Checklist

  1. Updating My.SXSW: I registered for the conference back in December and since then have given little thought to revisiting the Web site. Between e-mails and tweets was there anything left I still needed? Yes! I needed to update my profile and integrate my social networks via My.SXSW. An hour later I had a profile picture posted, a badge picture uploaded, group membership secured, tweets synced, and contact information updated. Phew.
  2. Planning a Schedule: If I spent an hour fiddling with My.SXSW, I easily spent another two or three reading through the schedule of events for the week and then looking up more info on panels/events I might want to attend. This little exercise was probably better for managing my expectations than actually deciding what panels I want to attend. I learned there are so many interesting, innovative, and intriguing things happening I just won’t be able to experience it all. I also used My.SXSW to create a schedule, which allowed me to pinpoint the things that I want to check out the most.
  3. RSVPing: Are you supposed to RSVP for events at SXSW? I don’t know. But what I do know are the rules of etiquette according to Emily Post and Emily says you always RSVP. The result: I’m on a lot of party lists.
  4. Registering for the Mashable Directory: No brainer. Of course maybe I should actually use it to find a few people interested in forming a running group…
  5. Updating my iPhone:  When it comes to apps I’m a bit picky. This keeps my phone from turning into an app wasteland, but also means I don’t always have the latest and greatest at my fingertips for use. In preparation for SXSW my phone required a serious update. In the process I added the SXSW app, i-nigma (to read the badge QR codes), and Flickr. Plus I took time to rearrange all my apps to put the ones I would use the most during the conference on the homescreen. Although I can download anything I need during the conference I don’t want to spend time messing with my phone that I could be learning.
  6. Looking at a Map: I’m directionally challenged. I don’t even remember how I got places pre-iPhone and GPS. That said, I still like to have a lay of the land before touching down. Checking out Google Maps for 10 minutes seemed a worthy use of my time.

Resources

  1. SXSW Baby: Fun blog with lots of tips and advice for attending the conference and making the most of Austin.
  2. SXSW Insider’s Guide: A ton of helpful advice and things to consider for a newbie like me.
  3. How to “Rawk” SXSW: My goal is to “rawk” this conference and yours should be too.
  4. SXSW Party List: Keep up with the party scene via Twitter.
  5. Austinist: I love to keep up with local news when I visit.
  6. Serious Eats on Where to Eat: Because I’m a foodie.
  7. The First-Timers Guide: Advice from the conference.

I’ll be updating daily with my favorite finds as well as authoring content for my company’s blog. Be sure to check back, subscribe, and follow my tweets.

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