I really wanted to go to SXSW, but the badge price was a bit pricey for me, so I decided to volunteer. I was lucky enough to volunteer with the interactive crew, and the team I was on, was awesome (I was most interested in seeing the interactive portion). One thing I ended up realizing is that it was too hard to see the panels I was interested in, if I was working (will keep that in mind for next year).
This year they had SXSW EDU, which from what I understand was mostly for teachers and administrators. I found some of the talks quite fascinating, specially with everything going on with school funding etc. Great ideas for merging technology with teaching, I hope they try at least a portion of those ideas. Then I worked the meet up rooms, which were a big hit. A great idea for networking with like minded people in whatever topic you were interested in.
I got to listen to a few panels (that day job just gets in the way! 🙂 ) But I definitely want to catch more panels next year. I was able to sit in and listen to the keynote speaker one day (Seth Priebatsch) and was blown away.
The parties were something else! You could just walk a few steps and there was free alcohol! But having a badge is almost a must for that! (To get into the good parties anyway). I actually met and spoke with people more during the parties than anywhere else, so it was a great networking opportunity! Also RSVP for parties EARLY! I found Do512 had the best listing of parties (official and unofficial).
Here’s just a few photos. Most were done with my EVO phone, the one day I took my camera I could not get into a party! 🙁