Connecting people and ideas through improvisation

Tips for First Timers and Indie Authors at SXSW

I will sadly not be making the trip to SXSW this year for scheduling reasons, but my past posts of tips and suggestions for people have proved popular so I figured I’d continue that tradition in spite of my absence.

First Time Attending SXSW

Most of my advice from last year’s A Beginner’s Guide To SXSW still stands, except for the links to the specific tools and forums. My top three tips would be:

1. Wear Comfy Shoes – Seriously, you are going to be on your feet constantly. Bring something you’re comfortable putting some miles on.

2. Pick People Over Panels – There are great sessions there, but always take a chance to make a connection with an interesting person doing something fascinating. The friends and good connections I’ve made there outweigh the memorable panels.

And the third tip that almost nobody ever listens to:

3. Go To Panels You Don’t Know Much About – Everybody’s first reaction is to look at the schedule and pick panels in their core area. Then you’ll go, learn a little bit, and be underwhelmed. Why go all the way to this convention to talk about the things you talk about all day long? Go to LEARN! Find panels where you have just enough of an inkling what the topic is to be interested, but still feel a bit like a fish out of water. This will expand your view of the world and your list of connections. Catch up on your own industry in recaps when you get home.

For another great list of tips, check out Andrew Hyde’s 2013 SXSW Guide.

Indie Authors Attending SXSW

It looks like the schedule of indie and digital publishing sessions out there is just as scattered as last year, but we have a list of 5 Tips For Indie Authors at SXSW posted over on Google+. It’s a good list, especially the tip about leaving your books at home. Seriously, just don’t even bring them.

Check out the list and let us know if there are any sessions or technologies you’re excited to see.