The top ten lessons learned from the great SXSW festival of interactive technology, film and music:
1) Embrace Chaos: Make precise plans so you can be open to serendipitous discoveries, meetings, and art.
2) Gurus are for spirituality, not panels: There’s nothing worse than a panel that speaks to the audience as though they have been to the top of the mountain and have now come down – literally and metaphorically – to impart their wisdom. There’s nothing better than a panel that speaks to the audience as colleagues who are also working hard in the valley.
3) Make Events Blog-worthy: You know things are going well when events inspire a blog.
4) Be Interactive: It is energizing and informative to watch the Twitter feeds during a presentation. Anyone who disagrees is afraid of what the audience thinks.
5) Trade Show Bar: Having a bar situated in the middle of the trade show turns a booth trawling event into a social event.
6) Titles are for Cards, Not Badges: Have you ever had the feeling of being evaluated by your stomach? That is the badge hanging around your neck. Are they looking at your title? Lose the title, keep the name and the place you are from, and more conversations take place.
7) Good Food: It’s best to match great art with the greatest food.
8) It’s the Artists: If in one week you can move from Devo to the Decemberists and Kubrick to “I Love You Man,” you know you have an enlightened mix.
9) Meet the World: If most of the people/art you meet are from your own country, you are looking in a mirror; if most of the people/art you meet are from a different country, you are looking out a window.
10) Neil Young: If Neil Young comes not to perform but just to be there, walking around the festival hotel lobby like everyone else, you know your festival is genuinely cool.
- Bill Reichblum