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SXSW Interactive – how to survive the mega congress

We are a few weeks away from starting March and it is an important moment for many technology companies, since one of the most outstanding conferences for the digital industry will meet in the city of Austin-Texas; the event is called South by South West (SXSW) and is on the lips of every technology entrepreneur because it has been the site where Twitter and Foursquare first became known.

Some of the attractions of this university city, is its gastronomic and cultural diversity that allow SXSW It will be an ideal platform so that from March 13 to 22 any company in any sector, be it music (SXSW Music), entertainment (SXSW interactive and film) or education (SXSW Edu), enjoy an enormous number of events that can support the growth of your business. All represent a good opportunity for entrepreneurs, startups and investment funds looking to do business, as well as contacts with most global markets in an environment that houses more than 65,000 people.

Networking between barbecues, beers and music.

Undoubtedly SXSW is an atypical conference, since the atmosphere is very relaxed and most of the attendees are looking for that, to relax, but at the same time everyone is looking for that new Twitter or FourSquare that will come out of Austin. In recent years we have not heard any other large-scale company from SXSW, but we can see that some things happen during the event, since 2 years ago the people from WeHostels had their party there and last year it was sold to StudentUniverse … Did that deal close in Austin? Everything is possible.

There has been a lot of speculation about whether the SXSW limit has already been reached, but I think that everything has stages and the maturity of this conference is evident by generating segmented spaces for each taste; There is Startup Village for those who only want to listen to entrepreneurship topics, it is promoting culinary themes such as Taco Meetups and there is a Stand Up Comedy section. So not everything is serious at SXSW (I think there are few events to go in suits).

Tips to take advantage of SXSW.

For entrepreneurs planning to go to Austin, I would like to share some teachings from over 10 years of events that I have had the privilege of attending, including SXSW. Before I give you the tipsI am going to quote Evan Nisselson, founder of the LDV Capital fund

That event or competition … will help you achieve your goals? – Evan Nisselson – LDV Capital.

The following list does not make sense, you must be convinced of your goals to attend SXSW. So put it on a post-it in front of the monitor and start reviewing this list.– Schedule activities. You have to make an effort to see what is on the agenda, which is aligned with your goals, and see who may be interested in going (so that you increase the possibility of bumping into them).

– Attend conferences to meet the speakers. Many times it is not the people who attend the talk or meetup that interests you, but the people who participate in the Keynote or panel. Note: there are some speakers who can only be reached during networking events or parties.

– Bring an extra battery or source to charge cell phone / laptop -you will run out of energy in your devices, so bring everything you can to recharge your gadgets.

– Make a copy of your passport or ID. Do not carry original documents with you, the copies are valid in the United States. Since if you lose your documents among the sea of ​​people, it will be impossible to recover your documentation.

– Bring aspirin or anything with you to cure discomfort. It is not for the hangover (well yes … a little), but you will be in constant hustle and you will be at 1000% during the event. Taking something to relieve pain or discomfort is good.

– Try to be flexible with the agenda. No matter how hard you try to have a calendar, you must be like water and adapt to any situation. Many times you will be somewhere that you did not expect to be and it is the magic of being in SXSW.

– Assign a meeting point. If you go as a group, assign an event on everyone’s agenda to meet again, one in the morning and one in the evening. This serves to share the price of the taxi back to the hotel.

– Choose a place for your meetings. To do business and close deals it is important to select a place that is moderately expensive, so you will not have problems with noise and crowding.

I hope that with this list you can enjoy one of the most important conferences in North America and an experience that every geek should live. The pilgrimage to Austin is an adventure that no digital lover should miss. Surviving SXSW is an achievement in itself.

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