SXSW 2006: Lessons Learned
I wanted to take the time to wrap up with what I felt I learned and took away from the five days I spent in Austin.
First and foremost, this event is about the people. In retrospect, I feel bad about missing out on a couple of the after parties and things like the Web Awards where 9rules and Avalonstar took home awards. It's during these times where you really get a chance to sit and chat with people. There were so many people whom I would've liked to have had the chance to talk to in greater detail.
The one regret is not having a chance to chat with Eric Meyer. He had his daughter with him and I really didn't feel comfortable approaching him with his family. Maybe next year.
One of the biggest things that amazed me was the recognition I received. Being able to introduce myself to someone and having them already know of me was incredibly gratifying. It's funny because I've become "the fixed comments guy". On top of that was having people introduce themselves to me. That was a trip and something I'll remember. Having Andy Clarke say "I hear you have a redesign in the works" considering the limited few I've shown it to proves it's a very small world.
A big surprise was the lack of cliques. Sure, you tend to find some people often hang around others but everybody was extremely approachable. The fact that I managed to spend each lunch and dinner with a different group of people was a testament to that. Near the end of the event I just stood in the hall until someone passed that I recognized. It'd go from introduction to dinner invite quickly.
For next year, I'd love to present on a panel. I feel like I have much to share and being able to contribute on a panel is just one more way of spreading the message. I was also inspired to come out with some really cool stuff. To become more than just the fixed comments guy and really create more of an impact on the industry.
See you next year.