The Madness of South by Southwest Is Upon Us

by Jason Falls |

The next five days will be nuts. It’s South by Southwest Interactive, or as I often call it, “Geek Super Bowl.” The frenzy around SXSW has reached a crescendo I believe is the beginning of a down-turn for the event. I’ve co-hosted a party on Friday night for the last three years and am again this year (with my buds Jim Tobin from Ignite Social Media and my Expion gang [client]), but also received invitations to about six other events that conflict this time round, including one hosted by a another client of SME’s.

There isn’t a minute of time from Friday morning until Tuesday afternoon that isn’t booked for most people, whether it’s going to sessions, attending brunches or gatherings sponsored by various companies or bouncing from party to party in the evenings. I’ve seldom planned anything at SXSW, preferring instead to watch Twitter, talk to friends I want to hang out with and just go with the flow. But I also have clients to serve, business meetings to tend to and speaking/book signing appearances and the like that are obligations.

sxsw (Photo credit: alexdecarvalho)

Seems like everyone I talk to is in the same boat, speaker/author or not. Probably one of the most popular things I hear from people talking about SXSW is, “I don’t know if I’m going to go next year.” I’ve felt the same way for a couple years now. It’s a lot of fun, but also a whirlwind of busy-ness that doesn’t always lead to business.

For those who are going to SXSW this year, though, here are some events (some official SXSW events, others not) I’ll be attending/hosting/doing and where I hope to hang out. Hopefully, we’ll see each other! And for those that are on the list (sorry, it’s a semi-private thing), I’ll probably be hanging out a lot at the Spredfast VIP Lounge at Spredfast’s offices on 4th. That venue is open to invited guests from 11-4 each day.

Friday, March 9

(All Times Central)

No Bullshit Social Media Book Signing – Samsung Blogger’s Lounge hosted by TechSet – Austin Convention Center 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Ignite Social Media Party with Social Media Explorer and Expion – Molotov – 719 West 6th Street – 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Vitrue Community Manager of the Year Award discussion – Tweethouse – Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop – 400 Nueces Street – 2:15 – 2:45 p.m.

AT&T Happy Hour with Jason Falls – Frank Hot Dogs and Cold Beer – 407 Colorado Street – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Copyblogger Media presents: The Computer Blue Party – The Rattle Inn – 610 Nueces Street – 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday, March 11

Chevrolet presents: Allhat III – Guero’s – 1412 South Congress Avenue – 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday, March 12

SXSW Panel – Social Media Comes of Age Without The Help of Porn – Katie Paine, Lisa Joy Rosner, Dave Evans, Jeremiah Owyang, Jason Falls – Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin – Capital Ballroom A – 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

No Bullshit Social Media Book Signing – SXSW Bookstore – Austin Convention Center – Level 4, Ballroom D Foyer – 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Get Ready To Live 3 – Ballet Austin – 501 West 3rd Street – 1 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (My talk – Inside Baseball – will be at 1:25 p.m.)

I’ll also be hanging around outside Champions and the Convention Center at periodic times. Hope to run into you. If you are going to Austin for SXSW, please be smart and be safe. Try to make some clear business goals and follow through with them so you get something out of it other than exhaustion.

See ya in Austin!

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).