People have been streaming to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas since 1987 to interact with the best, brightest and most creative people in film, music and interactive. Three festivals in one draw people together from around the world once a year to engage, collaborate, network and just enjoy each other. Here are Engaging Reasons to Attend #SXSW.
1. A global village!
People come from all over the world to Austin for the annual SXSW festivals which means it is a unique opportunity experience fresh perspectives about film, music and interaction from other countries and cultures. It is a wonderful time to make lasting international connections.
2. Engaging people!
Whether you love film, music, interactive (or all three) there are smart, fun, critical thinking people to engage with at SXSW. Yes, networking it important but the people you meet will get your brain working and endorphins racing. Fellini, Cobain and Kerouac would approve of this wonderful platform for exchanging art and ideas.
3. A celebration of ideas!
4. New cutting edge everything
SXSW has grown into a must attend event because it is a platform where cutting edge ideas, art, music and technologies are discussed, validated and introduced to the world. Many of these burst into the mainstream because of the festival’s response. Not to say that everything that hits SXSW takes off like a rocket, rather it is a real festival with a real audience who give real opinions and feedback. No fluff.
5. Amazing talks
Whether given by established filmmakers, musicians, and writers or by new people looking to make a mark, SXSW offers a smorgasbord of stellar talks on some very compelling topics. It is advisable to get out of your comfort zone and attend talks on topics you know nothing about as well as map out your days with primary, secondary and tertiary plans of what to attend as some of the talks fill up fast.
6. Powerful networking opportunity
SXSW provides a powerful opportunity to make meaningful connections with people in your industry that you might otherwise never meet. It may be intimidating at first but dive in and you will make some fantastic and lasting professional connections.
7. Toptastic food & beverages
If you come to Austin for SXSW you will also be coming for the food whether you know it or not. Ask any local for dining recommendations and you will for sure get a fantastic referral for something great with a smile and “y’all” thrown in free of charge. Texas barbecue, steaks, buffalo burgers, Tex-Mex, breakfast tacos, local beers, vodkas and Mexican martinis are just a few of many tasty treats that call Austin home.
Austin is the music capital of the world. Being from Seattle I was skeptical when I moved here and first heard that. I am going to say that it is 110% truth. So much great music comes from Austin and travels through here from out of town it is mind boggling. Any type of music you enjoy you will find in Austin and the people are not worried about a “scene.” They are just passionate about all things music and open to it all. SXSW extends and inserts this passion directly into their music festival. It is a hard hitting week of quality acts that will have your booty shakin’ 24×7.
No, not movies. Film! Motion pictures! Art! The SXSW film festival is something any film and art lover must see in their lifetime. The medium of film is such a unique form of expression and it is so impressive that so many talented people create the amazing content shown each year at SXSW. Whether it is a full feature, short film, documentary or film noir you will find it at SXSW. The bonus is you get to talk film with others as passionate as you including the filmmakers themselves. Pretty epic!
10. Social time with your social networks
How many peeps and tweeps do you have in your social networks that you enjoy engaging with every day but have never met face to face? SXSW is the place to change that and build on those unique relationships. It is the ultimate “Tweet-up.”
11. Austin baby!
I have lived here for almost 12 years and love, love, love it. It is a real gem of a community and we are so fortunate that the SXSW team organizes such a great festival each year. It gives us Austinites a chance to show off our town and meet some fantastic new friends. Here is my favorite video clip showing off Austin.
If you have not been to Austin for this tremendous event and convergence of ideas then you must schedule time this year to make the pilgrimage and experience all that is SXSW. If you have attended in the past we await your return with welcoming arms. And if you want to meet the 12 Most team and learn about all about creating and growing a collaborative blogging community please let the SXSW team know your desire to attend a 12 Most panel discussion via Twitter (@SXSW) and Facebook. Of course give them a “Follow” and “Like” in the process.
Photo courtesy of Culturegreyhound via Creative Commons
This post originally ran on 12Most on November 18th, 2011.