SXSW is less than two weeks away and if you want to get the most out of the conference you have to prepare. Although I never know what will happen once I get there, preparation is the key to a successful conference. Here are the things I am doing to prepare:
1. Check out the the SXSW schedule for events and presentations to attend. While I probably won’t make that many workshops, it is important to see what is being presented. Since there are so many, I am sorting by topic and speaker. I typically attend for the speaker not the topic.
2. Preparing my presentation with Becky McCray on "What We Can Learn from Rural Entrepreneurs". Its a primer on our upcoming book tentatively titled "Small Town to Small World"
3. Checking out all the free Schwag for SXSW that you can order online. Great offers from vendors like Gotomeeting.
4. Set up appointments with people I want to meet again and for the first time. SXSW is so huge, it is unlikely you will just run into them. I am setting up specific times and places. You can also see who is coming from your Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter contacts on SXSW Social.
5. Get invites to the parties. This is a great place to meet new people you do not know yet.
6. Prepping my 18 year old son for the event. He is attending the Film conference for the first time and he has no idea what he is in for.
7. Breaking in a great pair of walking and standing shoes. There is not much sitting down.
How are you preparing?