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SXSW is a huge event for the digital, film and music communities. So far we’ve met people from Brazil, Canada and even Kenya! Many celebrities use SXSW to launch projects, speak at sessions, and connect with their fans. While I didn’t come to SXSW to meet famous people, I ended up connecting with several! Here are my tips for connecting with people you admire at SXSW.

  • Be intentional. I am a lifelong Power Rangers fan, and when I heard that JasonDavid Frank (the original Green and White Ranger) was holding an autograph signing, I jumped at the chance. It wasn’t without difficulty – I had to take a pedicab 30 minutes to the where the Gaming portion of SXSW was and deal with masses of people dressed as video game characters, but it was definitely worth it!
  • Be at the right place at the right time. On my way back from my meet and greet with the Green Ranger, I spotted a familiar face as my pedicab sped back to the convention center. It was Bravo’s Andy Cohen! He was walking to his car out of a hotel. I said “Hey!” and gave him a hi five – all while speeding down the street on the back of a pedicab pedaled by a hipster with pigtails. Awesome!
  • Go to their sessions and stick around. This may seem like a no brainer, but if you have a badge, use it! I got an opportunity to meet with Harvey Levin (founder of TMZ) and one of my internet heros, Francesca Ramsey just because I went to their sessions and hung around to ask some questions. Most people who run sessions are excited that you’re there, and are willing to take a moment and snap a pic with you.
  • Win a contest. Ok, this one may not be the easiest to do, but you can always try! I was wandering around the convention center in between sessions and stopped by an interactive booth Oreo set up. They said that if I used the hashtag #OreoGrabGo I could win a private dinner with Chef Paul Qui, winner of Top Chef! I tweeted and promptly forgot about it until I received a tweet from Oreo telling me I won! I got a chance to meet someone I really admired and have a private, one on one meal with them at their restaurant – what more could you ask for? All over Austin, companies are giving away experiences like these, and all they want from you is your interaction. Take five minutes and do it – somebody has to win, and it might be you!
SXSW is a great experience to interact with industry professionals, explore brands and engage with people you would never have a chance to otherwise. Who is someone you’d be excited to meet at SXSW? Let us know in the comment section.

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