Huzzah! The 6S boss men have approved our budget to attend South By Southwest Interactive. This is my favourite time of the year; when technology evangelists, nerd stars, and social media enthusiasts converge upon Austin, Texas for one of the largest and most talked about digital conferences in the world. This is where start-ups are launched and digital trends are born.
This year, myself and 6S Marketing colleague Shannon Richardson will be attending as #shamber, bringing you the latest in emerging technology, details on noteworthy start-ups, digital marketing trends and of course, the inside scoop on what our favourite nerd rock stars are up to. We’ll be reporting from the deep depths of epic VIP parties, beer gardens and free grilled cheese stands.
As always, a strong Vancouver contingent of bloggers, technology enthusiasts, digital marketing professionals and social media personalities will be representing at SXSWi in full force. You’ll be able to follow along with the Vancouver Crew via the Twitter hashtag #ehteam2013.
With just two weeks until the big event, we’ve crowd sourced the top tips for preparing for SXSW from Vancouver’s “geek summer camp” veterans. Here are some sage words of wisdom from the South By Gurus:
@DaveOHoots — VP of Community at Hootsuite
“prepare to be spontaneous. don’t stand in line. don’t over plan”
@johnbiehler — Canada based photographer, blogger, gadget geek, mobile phone nerd, teacher, traveler, MakerBot operator, and 3D printer builder.
“Don’t forget, Interactive & Film happen at the same time. I’ve picked up my speaker badge beside Josh Brolin, had Charlize Theron walk past while dining, nearly (accidently) tripped Moby outside the convention centre, saw Dennis Hopper at Starbucks, swapped hangover stories with Wil Forte at the airport, etc. not to mention getting to meet the peeps that make most of the amazing internet tools I use on a daily basis.”
John’s top tips
- Bring comfortable shoes/clothes for warm weather
- Plan your roaming data/phone stuff now
- Drink lots of water
- Say hi to everyone you come across
- Also be prepared to be unfollowed/unfriended by those back home that are sick of your updates
@iamelectro — Manager, Web and Analytics at PEER 1 Hosting
Take notes. Use your notes app, notebook, whatever you choose, but take note of a name, website, tool, tip, app when you hear something interesting. What I learn here shapes the rest of the year, and as rough as they are, those notes are gold when I return to the office.
Ramon’s Top Tips
- Make time for the tradeshow, and make a point of following up on some of the cooler products
- Look out for the Vancouver locals
- Share your location if you’re at a good spot
- Establish a home base away from the conference centre (Halycon is a popular hot spot)
@KK — Technologist, Photographer and Activist
“When the lines are long, and you’re chasing the cool kids around the parties via the internet…. get a ‘lil crazy, and remember… YOU ARE THE PARTY. Talk to someone new and don’t get caught up in the glitz and glam of it all. You never know who that is to your right or your left… be friendly and kind and say hi. You’ll be surprised who you’ll meet.”
KK’s Top Tips
- ABC (Always Be Charging)
- BCD (Be Continuously Drinking)
- SEE ALSO: Sleep Is For The Weak
- Get your camera tagged at the ‘media’ desk when you check in. It can be used to talk unsuspected doorman into VIP access and makes a nice souvenir.
- Eat at least one solid meal a day before the sun goes down.
- Recharge with a beer and a movie (or maybe a nap) at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Our friends at Vancouver-based Roam Mobility offer data packages and hot spots to Canadians visiting the US. They’ve kindly offered a SXSW-specific promo code that gives 25% off all roaming plans: SXSW2013
In addition, Roam Mobility has donated a few SIM cards that can be used with a data plan on any unlocked smartphone or tablet during SXSW Interactive. To enter, tell us your favourite SXSW tip in the comments below or copy and Tweet the following message. We’ll announce a winner on our Twitter account this Friday.
Top Tips for #sxswi from #shamber and friends http://bit.ly/ZhcuBM via @6s_marketing