First, for those of you who are not familiar with South by Southwest (sxsw) – dubbed “Spring Break for Geeks” sxsw is one of the must attend events for those in the digital space. While sxsw may be best known for music and film, the interactive component brings together all the best geeks to converge, network and make great ideas happen. What makes the conference great is that it brings together marketing people, entrepreneurs, social media peeps, VCs, tech geeks, programmers, and all sorts of other people interested in technology and digital marketing.
But where else can you physically hang with so many people in the marketing/interactive/advertising/social/geek space all at once. Evan Williams. Kevin Rose. Bob Garfield (yes, I include him), Justine Ezarik, David Armano, Brian Solis, Henry Copeland, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Violet Blue, Rick Webb, Ze Frank, Jason Fried, Guy Kawasaki, Pete Cashmore, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jeremiah Owyang, Benjamin Palmer, Adam Pash, Jeff Pulver, Ian Schafer, Ariel Waldman, Adam Wallace. And, yea, Ashton Kutcher.
It is true. SXSW has one of the best collections of people, and countless opportunities for networking, sharing ideas or just making friends.
SXSW is probably best known for the party scene, and while it may seem that partying isn’t work, the party scene is where some of the best connections are made. My friend Lewis Howes (who I sadly hardly saw this year) points out that some of the best business is done at 2am (although I suppose that depends on how many drinks you have had).
During SXSW I had the opportunity to connect with many new and old friends. For me, SXSW has resulted in 2 direct business opportunities and 2 opportunities to collaborate on projects with people I really respect. I was also on the front page of the Thoora sxsw newsletter (above). Next year, if you get the opportunity plan on joining us.