Spring Break for Geeks is on again in beautiful Austin, Texas. Take some 3000+ web developer and designer types, put them all together in a conference center and watch in amazement.
I had a blast last year, and suspect this year will be just as much fun. Here’s a few things that I’ve picked up about SXSW and conferences in general that may be of use to you:
- You will not see every session that you want to see. Accept it now – its just the way it is, so be prepared.
- There is always some other place you could be. Don’t worry about that – whether it is a session or a party somewhere – you are still soaking in it. If you worry about it, you won’t be having a good time where you are.
- Take one nugget from every session. Ages ago I decided that I was going to make sure that no matter what the session, conference, or presentation was, I would always take at least one nugget away from every session I ever attended. It doesn’t matter if it is a quote, an idea, a way of presenting something, a way of not presenting something, or even a new technique for explaining something to others – there is value in everything if you look for it.
- Drink plenty of water. And be sure to use the facilities when you can – you don’t know when your next opportunity will be.
- Be prepared for cold. Yes, we’ll be in Texas. Yes, its hot. And, yes, when the sun goes down, it gets colder.
Gents – wear a cupScratch that… just stay away from Andy Clarke’s knees.
- If you can’t be 100% sure about whether or not you know someone’s blog, just don’t say anything. I’m serious. Even if you know you read something at someone’s blog a few weeks before, save yourself the embarrassment of saying something like: “Oh, yeah, you have that websiteÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ with that thingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there a big thing there recentlyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure there wasÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ a thingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦” Again – even if you know you were at the person’s site. You risk looking and feeling like an ass. I got an award for that last year.
OK, I think that’s it for now… If you’re going, and you’re a reader here, let me know and we’ll be sure to meet up. If you’re a lurker here and will be attending, then let me hear about it- the more the merrier!
Oh – almost forgot – I will be speaking at SXSW this year: I’m on the panel Web 2.1: Making Web 2.0 Accessible alongside these fine folk: