Much of this is a mindset issue. Yes, every year established corporations of the world and startups alike try to make a larger than life experience. And yes, many of these activities have jumped the shark.
Many treat the SXSW experience as a spring break of marketers. Others stay away entirely, writing off the whole thing. Well everyone, before you throw this venue aside, it’s time to think differently and do things differently.
It’s one thing to make broad suggestions, so I’ll go first. Here’s what I’m doing differently this year:
1 – Finding the closest hotel possible.
This year I’m staying at a hotel within 4 blocks of the convention center. Time is precious and
it’s worth the coordinated effort to plan well in advance so you’re not stuck waiting for cabs and SXSW shuttles.
2 – Getting a tradeshow booth.
Now I certainly wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but we’ve got the type of product that appeals to the crowd. And we’ve got really fun swag, too.
This lends a sense of credibility to what you’re doing and gives you a clear venue to invite others to.
4 – Physical Training.
What? You often read of some folks eating healthy and detoxing prior to the event but I took it a step further this year. Having not been to the gym much at all in recent history, I’ve added a 5:30am gym routine nearly every day for the last 2 weeks.
Overkill? Perhaps, but SXSW is an endurance test.
5 – Writing this post.
I’ve made it a bit of a tradition to write a SXSW tips / reflective post in the air on the way to SXSW. It helps focus your mind on why you’re going in the first place.
What are you doing differently this year to make SXSW the best experience possible? Meet up with me and let me know.