That sound you hear is the sweet silence of the #sxswi hash tag. Ahhhh, no more conference envy for me! The bonus of a social media conference as well-attended and reported as South By Southwest is that it generally results in some great post-game blogging, and this year is no different.
It’s also a good time to reflect on how you can get the most out of any events you attend, whether it’s an over the top networking bonanza like the annual trek to Austin or the karaoke tweetup between just a few folks—what can we do to make sure we’re not wasting our time? We feature some great posts this week that answer that question.
For me, the best way to capitalize on any event is to take a deep breath and try your best not to be shy. If you attend events regularly, the tendency to sit in a corner with the folks you already know can be a strong temptation. But forcing yourself to get out there and mingle can result in some great relationships being formed that just might be helpful to you down the line.
Perhaps I will take my own advice…if I ever do make it to South by Southwest!
SXSW 2012: Great for Networking, No business breakthroughs – Jeremiah Owyang – Do you join me in SXSW envy each year? If nothing else, we have great wrap-up posts like Jeremiah’s this week to fill us in on all the fun and learning and networking we missed. He notes that while the fun and networking levels were great as always, there wasn’t a new “breakout” star this year (a la Twitter in 2007). “I was at SXSW when Twitter, Foursquare ‘broke out’ in previous years, yet this year there were no clear winners our ‘breakout technologies’ that I saw from the space. Why? There’s an over saturation of products due to low barriers to entry –while innovation certainly isn’t stifled the number similar or ‘like’ products is hard to swallow.”
5 Tips for Conference Success – Angela Maiers – It’s true, SXSW is over. But with countless other social media events all over the country occurring each week, there’s always time to brush up on how to use social technology to get the most out of conferences and events. “Another great way to find out where people are hanging out during conference time is foursquare. Check out these tips for using foursquare to enhance your conference experience. And, don’t forget about staying connected at home. Make sure you tell your family and network where you are going and what you are learning from the experience. Ask them if there is anything they want you to bring back with you. Agree to post a blog, a tweet or update your Facebook page so you can keep everyone abreast of all you are learning.”
Connecting with Content at Events – Valeria Maltoni – In another good post about getting the most out of events, Valeria has some great tips for creating good content via attending and getting the most out of events. “When I meet people and start talking about their projects and work, I get a ton of ideas about content. Conversations about problems common to the industry, or specific issues are excellent starting points for articles or posts. Often, there are also open questions you can answer more at length with a blog post. If I were on the famous elevator or escalator ride with a CEO, I would ask her what keeps her up at night, then write my take on tackling the issue.”
9 Tips for Getting Started in Social Media – Pam Sahota – New to social media? Fresh off your first trip to SXSW and totally overwhelmed by everything you learned? Not sure where to begin? Start here. Pam has some great advice for businesses trying to get their social strategy off the ground. “It is not enough to just be present on platforms and share information. One must have quality information (content) to share that is relevant to the target market in which they compete and are present. I recommend beginning a blog first, create enough content, so when you begin Tweeting, posting, sharing, etc — you have content for fans and potential consumers to go back to and read more and learn more about what you do and why they should be interested.”