South by Southwest Interactive 2013 is now a wrap. This was my first SXSW in two years. The conference has grown remarkably with 30,000 people in attendance this year. I hope that some of you took my advice before embarking to Austin. I had an amazing time catching up with old friends and making plenty of new ones. I also loved my Core Conversation, "Social Networking in Real Life", discussion with Jessica R. Murray. I was happy that we struck a good conversation with several of the attendees. Were you there? What did you think?
In C.C. Chapman's thoughtful recap post, he writes that SXSW is all about the networking. I couldn't agree more.
"People who focus on “the next great thing” or “the breakout app of SXSW” are missing the point of the conference and have bought into the hype."
Your important objective when you return home from the chaos is to follow up. I expect your week in Austin was spent meeting plenty of new people. I am happy that I have some potential new clients in the works, and I am thrilled to have made new friends too.
What to do after SXSW
The following are a few things you should do now while you're recouping from your BBQ induced coma:
- Review your business cards. Hopefully you kept track of where you met each person and what you talked about. In my post on tips for conferences, I remind you of a few things you should do BEFORE you go.
- Write a recap blog post and upload your photos and videos to a Facebook album, Flickr, or another photo sharing service. Be sure to tag everyone in the photos. We know that what happens at SXSW stays on the Internet, but refrain from putting up any "questionable" photos. You can see my photos here.
- Send a LinkedIn request to connect to each person you met. Do this by sending them a personalized note including a reminder of how you met. Be sure to include a link to your photo album or blog post, so they can visit your site/profile to learn more about you.
- Create a Twitter 2013 SXSW list of everyone you met . This will be handy to use to reconnect and keep track of your new and old SXSW friends. You can then grow those relationships and use that list to refer to when it's time for SXSW 2014.
- Follow up with an email if you have additional business to discuss. I recommend holding off about a week before sending them to allow the person to get caught up on their work-related mail. Most of us fall a little behind during the crazy week away. Inboxes are typically overflowing by the time we return to work.