I had the good fortune (and surprise) of my employer sending me and another designer coworker to SXSW Interactive this year! This is my first year that I’ve been able to go to SXSW with a badge in hand; very exciting stuff.
The one thing I majorly regret is not making it early enough to attend the Nic Cage panel (and I heard it was great). Apparently he committed to buying a fan a plane ticket home, because she willingly missed her flight to be at the panel. Anyway! I sat in on many other panels, and met a lot of interesting people from around the world. I swear, after trading the “where are you from” question, and answering “Well… here,” you can practically see people deflate visibly. It’s not a very interesting answer in comparison to overseas!
Next year I hope to attend more of the workshops rather than the talks, but this year I was really just getting my feet wet (and very sore).
I waited an hour or so (in the drizzly rain) to try out the new Occulus Rift virtual reality headset. In addition, I went to the Gaming Expo (Hotline Miami 2 is out!) and the Renegade Makers Faire (both free Interactive events, by the way). I also went to a few free music events. I worked across the street from thumping party that is Fader Fort in 2013, so it was nice to actually check it out in person and see a band or two (Chromeo was fantastic live). After, it felt like I spent two days straight at Butler Park (Foster the People and Childish Gambino both put on great headlining shows).
And the crowning gem (in my opinion) of SX… the traveling gig poster show, Flatstock! I managed to not empty my wallet at the poster show this year, but a few of my favorite artists did not appear to have booths, so that may have had something to do with it.