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How to Rock SXSW

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With six (amazing) years of attending South by Southwest under my belt, I feel like I am pretty well qualified to give you all some tips. Every item in this deck is something you absolutely positively …

With six (amazing) years of attending South by Southwest under my belt, I feel like I am pretty well qualified to give you all some tips. Every item in this deck is something you absolutely positively MUST do while you're in Austin. Trust me. You'll thank me later.

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  • 1. So I’m going to be giving a keynote at SXSW this year.
  • 2. So I’m going to be giving a keynote at SXSW this year. (Just like I always have.)
  • 3. And to be honest, I’m going to spend most of it on Q&A,
  • 4. And to be honest, I’m going to spend most of it on Q&A, (Because that’s the most valuable thing I can give to my audience.)
  • 5. but I promised a keynote, so goddamnit, I’m going to give a great keynote.
  • 6. So I made this slideshare because I want to give you all a sneak peek of what I’m going to talk about.
  • 7. So I made this slideshare because I want to give you all a sneak peek of what I’m going to talk about. (So let’s get into it.)
  • 8. 1 FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN GIVE TO SXSW, NOT WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM SXSW.
  • 9. For the last few years everything has been: “Hey, let me give you my business card!” “Invest in my startup!” “Download my app!”
  • 10. Those people have it backwards.
  • 11. The first year I went to SXSW, I shipped a bunch of wine down there,
  • 12. The first year I went to SXSW, I shipped a bunch of wine down there, (I basically wanted to get the nerds drunk.)
  • 13. I wanted to be a part of this new community, so I figured the best way was to teach them what I know.
  • 14. After a little bit of shenanigans with this new app called Twitter,
  • 15. I ended up throwing an amazing party.
  • 16. I ended up throwing an amazing party. (At least CNET thought so.)
  • 17. And now the Secret Wine Party is —let’s be honest here— the singular event of SXSW.
  • 18. And now the Secret Wine Party is —let’s be honest here— the singular event of SXSW. (At least my mom and I think so.)
  • 19. 2 SAY HELLO TO FIVE STRANGERS
  • 20. If you do not do this step, you’re making the biggest mistake of your life.
  • 21. The singular reason to go to SXSW is that you have thousands of people who are passionate about similar things.
  • 22. To be in line at a taco truck and not say: “Hey, what are you all about?” to the gal in front of you is inexcusable.
  • 23. You need to expand your social graph beyond just new followers.
  • 24. Please do that.
  • 25. Please do that. Please do that.
  • 26. Please do that. Please do that. Please do that.
  • 27. 3 GO TO AT LEAST ONE PANEL FOR A SUBJECT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT
  • 28. SXSW attracts a huge breadth of different digital experts.
  • 29. Years ago, Travis Kalanick of Uber asked me: “Why do you keep going to all the marketing panels?”
  • 30. The answer was that I was selfish and I wanted to feel smart.
  • 31. So the next year I went to talks about Bitcoin and women in tech. I expanded my horizons, and it was amazing.
  • 32. So if you know nothing about mobile tech, digital currencies, or online dating... you owe it to yourself to expand your horizons at SXSW.
  • 33. 4 DOCUMENT
  • 34. Growing up I probably took 6 pictures my whole life. (My family was the same way...)
  • 35. There is like a picture of me at 4, a picture of me when I was 17, and then one at like 22. 4 17 22
  • 36. There is like a picture of me at 4, a picture of me when I was 17, and then one at like 22. (It’s terrible. There’s no documentation.) 4 17 22
  • 37. I regret tremendously not taking more pictures over the last six years of going to SXSW.
  • 38. I wish I could watch a YouTube video from the first Secret Wine Party.
  • 39. I wish I could see an Instagram of when I was hanging out with David Recordon and Josh Elman.
  • 40. Why don’t I have a picture of me talking to Dennis Crowley down by that hotdog cart talking about this new service FourSquare?!
  • 41. There are too many awesome things happening at SXSW. Document, document, document!
  • 42. 5 ALLOCATE 25% OF YOUR TIME TO THE PEOPLE THAT YOU CARE ABOUT
  • 43. Ironically, I spend more quality time with my friends and serious business acquaintances at SXSW than I do in NYC.
  • 44. Ironically, I spend more quality time with my friends and serious business acquaintances at SXSW than I do in NYC. (Even though we all live and work in NYC.)
  • 45. SXSW breaks your normal habits and gives you a chance to deepen your existing relationships.
  • 46. This is the only event when I text my friends in advance to find out about their schedules.
  • 47. So yes, you’re looking to discover new people (rule #2!), but you should try to reconnect with the people you care most about.
  • 48. So there you have it. Go forth,
  • 49. 1 Give
  • 50. 2 Connect
  • 51. 3 Expand
  • 52. 4 Document
  • 53. 5 ...and Get a drink!
  • 54. THANKS FOR READING! (If you thought this was good, you should see the real thing.) Click here to RSVP for my keynote at SXSW. Friday, March 7 12:30PM - 1:30PM