So, I’m headed back to Austin this year.
This will be my 5th year attending SXSW and my second year going badge-less. After last year, when I went alone I told myself that I wouldn’t be going back, especially alone.
Two years ago I got a Platinum badge. In many ways it was totally worth it! I mean Stefan and I got to watch the Foo Fighters documentary, with the band, then they played a free show and because of the badges, we got in early and were almost front row for the show. The downside? Many of the panels we wanted to attend were PACKED. If you didn’t plan early and get in line 30+ minutes before it started, you weren’t going to get in. Advice for those attending with badges? Plan which panels you really want to attend and be sure to get there early.
So, why am I going back? Clearly I just can’t stay away. I mean it combines two of my passions, tech and music, in a week long event full of smart, passionate people.
Also, I am trying to step out of my comfort zone a little bit. Despite knowing a ton of people attending, I didn’t like going alone last year because I do not like being alone. Sure I can hang out at home alone, but I *hate* going to a restaurant alone or attending a concert alone. Yes, I will do those things, but there is just something about knowing you have another person to hang out with, or meet up with, that makes the whole experience better, in my humble opinion at least.
So what changed my mind? There are a few things, but first I am going to blame my husband. Since meeting him, he has definitely pushed me to do the things I wanted to do, especially if it makes me step out of my comfort zone. I want to get better at meeting people in social situations and networking. What better way to do that than to throw myself into a conference, alone?
Another fun reason? I am going to be blogging for MapQuest while down there. I will be sure to send out the link next week so you can follow along with all of my adventures!
Lastly, and this is the biggest reason, when thinking back to attending past years of SXSW, it always brings a smile to my face. I have meet some amazing people and discovered great bands because of this conference. That’s why I am going back again.
Since I will be badge-less, this year will require quite a bit of planning and RSVP’ing for events. Hopefully it will all come together and I will step out of my comfort zone, meet some great, inspiring people, give out a ton of my business cards and discover some great new bands!
Let me know if you know of anyone I should meet, parties I should attend and new bands I need to listen to before heading down!