#SXSW Interactive 2012: Three 5 Bests
That time of year again, South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, the time where thousands of uber nerds gather together in Austin for the Mardi Gras of Geekdom but without the beads and bare chests… mostly. Fortunately we were able to pack up our pocket protectors and our taped together glasses and blend in with the best of them. For us the event didn’t disappoint; here are our three lists of five bests.
5 Best Sessions at SXSW
- Presenters: Kurt Karlenzig (The Marketing Store), Warren Kronberger (The Marketing Store), David Polinchock (AT&T AdWorks Lab)
- The Marketing Store teamed up with AT&T to talk about the upcoming technologies for marketing that aren’t visual. They brought the latest gadgets using sound, smell and even taste to help sell your brand.
- Presenters: Russ Unger (UserGlue), Krista Sanders (Google), Brynn Evans (Google), Fred Beecher (Evantage Consulting)
- More of a workshop than a presentation this group of UX geniuses guided us through a few tricks to research User Experience. Extremely helpful, I’ve already used a few of their methods.
- Presenter: Jason Hreha
- Jason talked about what causes behavior.
- Ability: How much of time, money, effort, experience does the user have?
- Motivation: What value does it provide to the user?
- Trigger: How good are your calls-to-action?
- Presenter: Joss Whedon (Cabin In The Woods, Avengers, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Vary (Entertainment Weekly)
- Joss is equal parts nerd and creative genius. It was a pleasure to hear the inner workings of his career.
- Presenter: Amber Case (Geoloqui)
- All the talk at SXSW was about location and Amber didn’t vary. She talked about the possibilities of location-based services and the future of humans and computers.
5 Best Most Talked About Apps at SXSW
- 1. Highlight
Equally the creepiest and the coolest apps at SXSW. Billed as a fun simple way to learn more about people around you, using Facebook it pulls your activity in the app and if someone else has the app and is near you it will tell you everything you have in common with them.
- 2. Ban.jo
This app alerts you when your friends are near. Useful when you are at a convention. Battery drain is a big issue though.
- 3. Evernote
Remember everything; a must have when taking notes at sessions.
- 4. Group Me
Group Messaging at it finest, a very useful app for a company that sends a few people to SXSW.
- 5. Foursquare
The granddaddy of location apps. I found it interesting the most talked about apps at SXSW were all location based. Even though some people were using other apps like Path (an extremely well designed app) everyone was still checking in with Foursquare.
5 Best Tips for SXSW
- 1. Bring a Mophie
- Battery drain is inevitable with the spotty coverage at the conference center. And with the amount of time you are on your phone a backup battery is a must.
- 2. Book a Hotel Early, Book a Hotel Close
- As soon as registration opens, register and book a hotel immediately. Attendance grew from under 15,000 in 2010 to 19,000 in 2011 and early number are coming in at 25,000 for 2012. For the first time they are projecting there will be more registrants of SXSW Interactive than SXSW FILM.
- 3. Take Advantage of Every Chance to Sit
- Dogs are barking, the first complaint everyone has is how tired their feet are. SXSW Interactive at one time fit in the Austin Conference Center. It now is spread over 15 locations.
- 4. Your Time Is Valuable Don’t Waste It On A Bad Session
- There are so many sessions if yours isn’t doing it for you jump to a different one, but be careful sessions fill up fast.
- 5. Follow Rumors From Twitter
- If you are looking for the latest party or the best session watch what is trending on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter I was able to see @Billy Corgan’s announcement of the new Smashing Pumpkins album as well as the “Secret” wine tasting party of Gary Vaynerchuk.