Scheduling and Surviving SXSW

10 Mar

Like their burgers and soft drinks, when it comes to festivals Americans know how to do them big. The largest of these is undoubtedly SXSW. The music, film and interactive festival attracts roughly 12,000 registrants to its Austin home-base each year.

Alongside the great weather and renowned Texas hospitality the festival’s large draw is the diverse and jam-packed schedule which makes up each of its three parts. This year, I’m going along to the interactive section of SXSW.

Planning your schedule can be  over-whelming at first with hundreds of sessions on offer across its five days and the desire to get the most out of your money and air miles.

Given that this is  an interactive event an impressive amount of  online schedule planners and mobile apps have been developed to help registrants get to grips with the sessions and not pass out on day one. Even the most organised of attendees may find their planning levels lowered by over-indulging in the free parties and find themselveswandering aimlessly around the Austin Convention Centre in search of the session they knew they wanted to attend but can no longer remember what it was or when it was on.

I used austin2011.sched.org to plan my schedule which was great as it had not only the official sessions on offer but the unofficial parties and music events not covered on the SXSW Website.

Take a look below at some of the events I hope to attend at SXSW Interactive 2011, well if those parties don’t wear me out on day one…

Friday, 11 March

2.00pm-3.00pm Marketing Budgets Have Gone Social-Is it Working?

5.00pm-6.00pm Why Would We Think Social Media Is Revolutionary?

Saturday, 12 March

9.30am-10.30am The Future of Nonprofits: Thrive and Innovate in the Digital Age

11.00-12.00pm Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

11.30-12.30pm What the Government Can Learn From Amazon

3.30pm-4.30pm Baby’s Gotta Face For Radio: Web Based Radio?

Sunday, 13 March

11.00am-12.00pm Getting Strategic with Social Media for Social Good

12.30pm-1.30pm Bloggers Fight Back: Legal Workshop for Music Bloggers

3.30pm-4.30pm Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World

Monday, 14 March

11.00am-12.00pm Edinburgh, Austin & the Future of Festivals

5.00pm-6.00pm Better Living Through Cloud Computing

Tuesday, 15 March

12.15pm-1.15pm F***cking Old Spice Guy: Race, Sex, Micro-Celebrity

3.30pm-4.30pm Rockin’ the Check-in: Location Strategies for Musicians

And the above doesn’t even include my reserve list….Alongside the playful sessions names, what I like most about the interactive schedule is that it’s not only designed for web developers and  techies but offers something for everyone involved in the online world. It also connects our growing use of the web with traditional communications such as radio and shows the increasing importance of the web on the music industry; great for this media consultant working, music loving, radio addict.

View the full SXSW Schedule here.

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