The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival will take place in less than a week – beginning March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas.The event features the best and the brightest in emerging technology, tons of networking events, and plenty of start up companies to fuel your entrepreneurial desires (one of which will be SocialMesh – a mobile app that's re-engineering the social technology experience to enhance the way we navigate and communicate with the people we are connected to online. Sign up for the beta invite here).Â
1. Download the SXSWGo App.Â The app allows you to view/build your schedule, see a map of whatâs happening and how to get there, navigate the tradeshow, stay connected to the social world and more. It also provides in-depth descriptions of each panel, the ability to sort by Film, Interactive, and Music, and even an area to take notes and provide feedback for each session. Fancy, shmancy. Download it now, it's free! Tip: Don't plan too much. Half the fun of Austin is…well, spontaneity! (In conjunction with the SXSWGo App, it's also a good idea to download the Eventbrite app to keep track of all of your RSVP's).
2. Find an Austin local who knows how to get around the city. Traffic will be crazy and parking even more so. (Thank goodness I have the most amazing, clutch girlfriend who lives in Austin and can help me get around).
3. Attend the more casual events. As brilliant as the panels and keynotes may be, the majority of the people you meet will most likely happen away from the sessions, where you can, y'know actually talk.
4. Register at Do512 for parties and events. Many of them are free. Or $1.
5. Don't forget your iPad/iPhone/Android/BB charger. Don't pull a rookie move by not having enough battery juice. You'll need your phone to stay connected!
I'll be at #SXSW from Friday March 9 – Tuesday March 13. Will you be there? If so, what are your plans? Leave comments below or tweet me at @itsjessicann. Looking forward to seeing y'all!