Where’s Waldo at SXSW?

I’m not an expert in attending the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. So don’t expect this post to be advice on how to fully enjoy this six-day networking event, because there are many other well written ones that are circulating around the web. However, this is probably more of a “here’s how you will find me and let’s not forget these things” type of post.

Want to find me?

If you’re coming to SXSW this year, I’d love to meet up with you at either a session, hallway meetup, or one of the parties.  With a lot of technology at my disposal, I should be able to broadcast and share the experience with you at all times. I’ve gone and added my Twitter followers to ping me via SMS when they’re updating. If I don’t follow you, send me a reply @kyeung808 and I’ll take a look and may follow you back & add you to my SMS roll – keep in mind that if I added everyone to my SMS roll, my poor Blackberry may just blow up!

But I’ll be dropping hints at where I’m at through my use of Brightkite – which I’ve recently found to be pretty helpful in locating where people are and giving people some insight into how to find me. Pictures may also be thrown into the mix when I do check in and as an added bonus, if you follow my twitstream, you’ll get pinged on my “check ins” as I’ve tied them together.

But there’s more! I’ve figured I’d start to push more information onto aggregate sites and since my mobile issues have included delays on Twitpic (while the rest of the known world seems to be having no problems), I’ve signed up to use Zannel. A nice lil’ startup here in San Francisco, at first I was a little bit confused as to its potential, but now I’m seeing how it’s a nice aggregate substitution for Twitpic and will be snapping pictures on my phone & uploading them to Zannel – and at the same time having it go to my Flickr account & also Twitter for everyone to see.

Okay, still not enough for you? Want to share in the experience? There’s always Flickr. I’ll be lugging my cameras with me so I’ll have (hopefully) plenty of pictures and stories to share with you and will be posting them nightly (again, hopefully) on Flickr. Sign up and add me as a contact and you’ll be able to see what I’m up to…or at least others. Unfortunately no video production will take place during this trip, but with so much going on, I’m am but one man. However, Qik on my Blackberry seems like a possibility as well – as long as my camera battery doesn’t die on me mid-day.

Don’t forget to bring clean underwear!

Okay, that’s not the next point I want to make. But, there are some things that you probably don’t want to forget. Keep in mind (as Aaron Brazell wrote in his post) that you should “pack lightly”. You’re going to be spending the entire day on the move from session to session to events & parties. Don’t bring what you don’t need. But there might be some essential things that you shouldn’t forget:

  • Chargers – don’t just bring one unless you have a universal multi-product adapter. Bring your phone, computer, and camera chargers with you throughout the day so you won’t miss a thing.
  • Surge Protectors – I’ve been to a few events (none as big as SXSW), but do you honestly believe that there will be enough electrical outlets for all the geeks and technology at this event? No! Share your surge protector, albeit briefly, with a stranger – good way to make a connection, right?
  • Camera batteries – bring plenty of ’em. Don’t forget to charge them up every night. Lots of stuff going on so you better not miss a thing!
  • Business cards – what else can be said. It’s a way of sharing information. However, if you happen to run out or don’t have any, you could try and use Contxt.com – thanks to @micah, I found out that you can put 140 characters of contact info into a text message and when someone types in your username and sends it to 50500, you’ll get an SMS with their contact info (you’ll get ping’ed with their phone number letting you know they requested the info). Thinking this will be very helpful at SXSW.
  • Comfortable shoes – you’re at a conference for nearly 5-6 days. You think you’ll be fine walking around in dress shoes for 10 hours a day? Nope.
  • Wi-Fi Card – They have free wi-fi at the convention center, but with thousands of people there, I don’t think you’ll have an easy time logging in. So if you tether your computer with your phone or have an EVDO wi-fi card, that might be the easiest way to log in.
  • Umbrella and a jacket – it might get cold in the sessions (at least bring a sweater?). The reason for the umbrella? To look cool and avoid getting wet during the first two days of SXSW – reports are that it will shower.
  • Money – as much as it pains to say, things at SXSW aren’t free. Be prepared to bring something that can be used to pay or barter for drinks, food, merchandise, etc.

There’s probably  bunch more, but these are probably the highly essential. But if you’d like, I can run a list on toiletries and other clothing items that you might need, but that would be a little awkward. In fact, just read Technotheory’s blog post on how to make SXSW awesome to give you some more ideas.

If you’re gonna be at SXSW, I’d love to meet up. See you there!