South by Southwest, which has come to resemble a Mardi Gras for techies, has wrapped up its Interactive portion. Some tips and observations from Edelman's Dave Fleet, paired with the vibrant photography of Vancouver's talented Kris Krug, succinctly encapsulate the spirit, essence, and purpose of SXSW: to network and have a hell of a time doing it.
In a blog post, Dave Fleet remarked about how SXSW Interactive is more about networking than it is about the event's actual content (keynotes, panels, etc.).
He also noted that, while everything can seem like one big party, it's important to focus on building strong relationships with key people and having those vital one-on-ones. His tips for networking are as follows:
- Don’t just hang out with people you already know. If you spend the whole time with people you could meet any day of the week normally, you’re missing out.
- Book meetings with people you want to meet well in advance. Breakfasts are often best, as days can get hectic and plans for lunch and dinner often change constantly.
- Look beyond the big parties. Sure, the big parties can be fun (the surprise Foo Fighters show was a massive highlight for me personally) but don’t spend all of your time at them. Grab a few people, grab dinner and get to know them better.
He observed both pros and cons, but said ultimately, the event is worth attending.
If you're thirsting for visuals instead of tips, look no further than the photos that the L.A. Times republished from Krug's own private gallery of snapshots. Included are flashing lights at the intense parties, (arguably) hot chicks, a girl being thrown into an infinity pool, and various people wearing t-shirts that are largely not nearly as clever or funny as they intend to be.