SXSWi Recap-ish

15 Mar

Well. Here I sit pressed deep into the cushions of my couch because I haven’t seen it for a week. It was an amazing seven days full of a lot of discoveries, ideas, cool people, Austin culture, and walking. I’ll be recapping different things in different posts, but here’s a general overview of the conference side of things.

Here’s what I packed for the week…I did pretty well.


Left to right…an iPad, various charging cables, the Interactive Pocket Guide so I could figure out what to do next, notebooks of varying sizes, 2 pens (which I used up), business cards, my trusty badge (aka Key to the Kingdom), and all of it shoved into my Timbuk2 backpack which worked like a champ. Boom.


This shuttle became very handy because the venues for SXSW Interactive were spread far and wide downtown. Some talks were at the Long Center a bit removed from the main downtown area, but most were at a cluster of hotels near the Convention Center. There was a half hour between panels and some were more popular than others…meaning massive lines if you didn’t get there early. Basically, this reminded me of the semester in college when I had a class at the top of campus followed by a class 15 minutes later in the engineering area on campus which was tucked far away and even running usually made me late. Except I HAD to go to that class, and here if you can’t get into a panel, you pick another one. Ideally in the same building.


I only missed out on one panel (something about Storytelling with NPR’s Michele Norris whom I love), but a lot of folks were having to Plan B it a lot. This is the issue when 24,000 geeks descend for a conference.

Technology at SXSWi

Thankfully my friend Chad was attending as well so he showed me the ropes of getting to the right panels in the right places. We didn’t match schedules a ton but it was good to have someone to compare notes with (and gripe about lines and rejoice about awesome food truck tacos).

SXSWi Panel

Most people took notes on their laptops. The power bill at the convention center must be insane this month. Everywhere you looked people were shoving plugs into walls for tiny bits of juice to get them through the next panel. Many companies had “charging lounges” set up to kindly let you plug things in, until you realized it was a giant ploy to market things as you while you brought your phone back to life.

Notes from SXSWi

I took notes the old fashioned way, because I always have and I think it makes me remember things better. I plan to compile all these notes into a document of things I learned…forthcoming this weekend (I hope).

More in the next post about speakers and celebrity encounters, because that’s what I was really there for. Just kidding. But really, celebrities. Oh, and some music.

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