Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SXSW 2009 Behind Me

SXSW 2009 is over. Here are a few observations and tips I hope to follow next year at SXSWi.

1. Buy more laptop batteries. It's worth it not to have to look for power outlets and then be tethered.
2. The bigger the room for the speaker does not always mean they're a better speaker. Sometimes SXSW scheduling messes up. Suckage can occur in a BIG room. Witness Mark Zuckerberg/ Sarah Lacy Interview From SXSW 2008. Also, the Hilton was used as spillover for a reason. ;)
3. There's a lot to say about taking just an iPod Touch or iPhone and a notebook and a phone. Accessing the sxsw.mobi worked well to look at the schedule. Checking email is overrated. It can wait until the evening. Otherwise, if emergency, there's always someone's laptop or a community laptop.
4. Take a phone with Internet apps as the wireless is questionable. Sprint worked better than AT&T every day of the conference. In defense I think that was the largest concentration of iPhones ever within a two block area.
5. Try to do more small discussions with others at a pub like on Monday night. Sitting around drinking beer and talking about code, design, writing works better than struggling for free beer underneath tents where hookups or introductions are rarely made.
6. Take advantage of the free yoga as that was the best improvement to SXSW this year. It set me up for the rest of the day.
7. Getting to the Convention Center early each day for yoga allowed me to find reasonably close FREE parking.
8. Do the homework on the speakers. I spent one night reading the profiles and session descriptions but I needed to look in more detail. Maybe even their last year's rating if available. Maybe even ask through Twitter or blog other's recommendations.
9. Taking my own aluminum water bottle worked great. Do it again.

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