Checkpoint. SXSWi.

I just returned from my 1st SXSWi!

It was an incredible experience: the panels and speakers were interesting and inspiring, the mixers and parties were jovial and exciting, and the food was delicious and addicting.

I went for 6 days, the entire Interactive portion, and it was definitely a marathon: not a sprint.  Those who sprinted didn’t finish: but I set a pace, stuck with it, and finished strong.

The city of Austin, TX was awesome, especially once the weather cleared up, and those Texans showed me great hospitality, kindness, and warmth.  THANK YOU!

Some highlights from the week included:

  • a Jimi Hendrix cover band: the man was playing behind his head, with his beer, etc
  • a panel on Designing with your Gut: though they just talked to each other it was good banter and a great start to my experience.
  • a mixer at a boutique hotel in hip South Congress: I’m going to stay there someday
  • a speech on FOMO (fear of missing out): you have this now, reading this post….
  • a rooftop happy hour with margarita slushies: you MUST have the cactus juice!
  • a pedi-cab ride along 6th street: poor guy was huffing and puffing with 3 of us
  • a keynote on the Future of Interaction: it will be ‘calm’, customizable, and nearly invisible
  • a rooftop pool party at a swanky hotel in downtown Austin: featuring BBQ from the Salt Lick and live MC’s
  • a keynote on Expanding Intelligence without Limit: the men from TIME magazine shared thoughts on the future of ‘digital’
  • a particularly great personal presentation and meeting with a major agency: we nailed it!
  • a protest demonstration during a talk on Surviving Technology: they got physically removed from the ballroom and kept shouting outside; a perfect example of dehumanization of interpersonal relationships in the digital space
  • and the karaoke moment of my dreams: I carried it home with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”; you’re all welcome.

Of course, there were many more memorable moments from my trip: many Instagrams, photos and countless connections made…it was everything I hoped for, and more.

But, it is great to be home: I feel so ready to get back to school and focus on what I know I want to do: Production and UX/UI.

We have 7 weeks left this semester and I’m starting to get excited about what’s to come: a new job, maybe a new place, a new passion and a new vision for my future.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first SXSWi experience, and would love to go back next year!

Leave a Comment