Our agency has the reputation of being big fans of SXSW Interactive. I can’t count the number of times our clients have asked us about why we go. There are a ton of reasons. Believe it or not, we don’t just go down there for our annual boat party (side note, it’s invite only this year, request an invite here)
I’ve joined the AE team for three of the past five years in Austin for SXSW. I guess you can say I’m somewhat experienced at attending.
What are the top reasons to attend SXSW Interactive? Here is my top three:
Drumroll. My number one reason for making the trip down 35 to SXSW is education. I learn something new in each session I attend. The cool part about learning new things is that for a few days you almost feel like a college student again (only without the dingy apartment and ramen).
Each year there is literally a session for every topic imaginable. You can really go crazy with your daily schedule. For instance, last year I stepped into virtual reality in the morning of day two. I still had time to attend two other sessions (one was about mobile website design and the other focused on marketing in the real estate industry) before lunch. It’s an awesome learning experience to hear from niche industry experts about what is happening in their industries.
As an advertising agency in Dallas, our number one goal is to be on the bleeding edge of technology. Our main purpose for going to SXSW is to learn and bring the knowledge we get back to our clients.
One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten about what to do while you’re at SXSW is to sit in the middle of the audience at sessions. This is one of our Principal, Ben’s SXSW life hacks.
You really don’t know who you’ll wind up sitting next to. It’s a great way to meet new people from all over the world. Our agency has made several good friends and clients as a result of SXSW.
The third reason I go to SXSW Interactive is for inspiration. My favorite thing to attend at SXSW is the trade show. I make a point to spend a couple of hours walking through it each year. You’re bound to see some of the most bleeding edge technology on display. It’s a lot of fun to go through there and brainstorm about ways to use emerging technology for our clients.
Are you going to SXSW Interactive this year? Follow our team on social media (@AgencyEntourage) and with #AESessions. If you’re interested in seeing my personal trip to SXSW 2017, follow me on Instagram at @TrillMike.