New to Austin and building a business, the last thing I want to do is pay the hefty (but worthy) rate to attend the conference itself. While SXSWi is one of the best Interactive events of the year, simply, I have work to do. That said, while the conference generally is not to be missed, nor are the events throughout the week. Begging the question, can you spend a week in Austin for SXSWi without actually going to SXSW?
A unique opportunity to connect with the best and brightest online, thousands descend on Austin from around the world to hob and nob. Easily rivaling conferences in Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, or New York, Austin’s SXSWi draws everyone; with not just it’s central location but great music scene, breakfast tacos, and cows (of course, the ongoing Music and Film events have something to do with the draw).
Sir Toby Belch, “Hob, nob, is his word: give’t or take’t”
Yes, I said Cows
Determined to get to know everyone in town, I’ve blocked the days of the week for work while the nights are left to Austin’s devices. So, what’s going on for those that aren’t registered for SXSW?
- Mixergy SXSW Live Bonanza – One of the events on my “most anticipated” list, Mixergy Live brings the invaluable interviews available on Mixergy.com front and center, with a no doubt exciting group of entrepreneurs sharing sage advice. Hosted by founder Andrew Warner, a few tickets remain but expect the event to be sold out shortly. Hardly all work and no play, the event is at the Elysium nightclub
- Hometown favorite Gowalla has an informal fan meetup planned and being coordinated through Facebook and Plancast. You’re in Gowalla country so go… *ahem* walla. Not to be outdone, Foursquare has designated April 16th Foursquare day, everywhere.
- In 2009, Dan Rubin sparked the Found Type Photowalk during SXSW Interactive 2009. A tour of Austin Architecture with camera in tow, the 2011 Found Type Photowalk is now an official unofficial event starting at the Hilton Hotel.
- WordPress Party – What’s the best way to ensure a massive list of attendees, an exceptional roster of entrepreneurs, and free marketing? Throw a party for bloggers; not just any bloggers, Austin is a WordPress town. The Dallas / Fort Worth WordPress meetup group has thrown their weight behind Cospace and WP Engine for what’s destined to be the largest non-SXSW event. Register now so you can we can hob.
- If, for some reason, you still believe WordPress isn’t far superior for your website, Drupal Party kicks off a few days after DrupalCon, with support from GeekAustin, Four Kitchens, and Chapter Three. (heard here first: the Sharks and the Jets will rumble on the 13th – the day after the WordPress Party and before the Drupal Party. Bring your game face; WordPress users, we’re the Sharks.)
3 Events worth attending but for which I’m not certain if you can attend without the SXSW Interactive badge (their RSVP pages make no mention of requirements)
Rock and roll and nothing tech related other than the guest list: TechKaraoke with Brett Petersel, Jennifer Wojcik and Kate Buck Jr. Not yet certain if I’ll get in without a badge, I’m hoping my golden karaoke voice will open doors (just in case, RSVP here).
The social social
SocialToaster has opened the doors of the Copa Bar and Grill to introduce their brilliant social marketing engine. This would be the most formal event I intend to sneak into, if I must; the work they are doing to automate and help manage social marketing promises to be game changing. Until we know if you must have the badge, RSVP here to get on the list.
The unsocial social
The one event at which you’re not likely to find me, but certainly in high demand, is the Data Cluster Party. My headline isn’t meant to be disparaging, social marketing folks are decidedly discouraged from making a scene, “no schwag and no social media people,” and I’ve been known to make scenes. Hosted by Infochimps, DataStax (Riptano), and GeekAustin, I’m fairly certain this requires SXSWi registration so don’t count on getting in without it. Just the same, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say, “unsocial social.”
If you intend to get to the conference or need a badge for one of those events, register now and here as rates are going up. If you need a place to stay, keep in mind I have little kids who will get you up at 5 am regardless of any hangover; even I’m considering a hotel.
Have I missed an event? Add it below and I’ll update the post with details.
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