Six members of the Flightpath team (dubbed the “Austin Six” by Flightpath’s own Cliff Medney) are eagerly anticipating their trip to the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, TX. The festival promises to be a whirlwind of networking opportunities, learning at every corner and of course the chance to experience all the sights and sounds that Austin has to offer.
SXSW has a huge following and just keeps getting bigger every year. Taking place this year from March 11th to March 15th, topics covered range from social media to design to programming. Most of the members will be experiencing SXSW for the first time, but we do have one repeat visitor as well. So starting with the experienced, here is what our team members are looking forward to the most.
Denise de Castro – This is my second SXSW trip. I’m looking forward to great eats, great panels, and catching up with other social media mavens that I tweet with but have never met. I learned my lessons from last year: I’m bringing a battery charging case for my iPhone and planning out what panels/sessions I’m going to attend. Okay okay, what I’m really looking forward to is The Food: barbecue, tacos, and bbq tacos =)
Dan Brooks – Definitely “Social Media & Comedy: F**k Yeah,” on which Marc Maron (who I talked about in my podcast blog post) will be a panelist. (This is a subject we’ll be tackling soon on the Flightpath blog via an interview, though I won’t spoil with whom!) Also, “Ain’t It Cool News’ 15th Anniversary” panel – I don’t think they create the most well-written (or well-thought out) movie/comics reviews around, but they were just normal dudes who created something huge out of nothing, and I’m interested to hear their story. Last (but not least), I’m looking forward to “Second Screen: TV Meets the Web Backchannel,” which is about laptop/mobile usage during TV viewing, a subject recently debated on the Flightpath blog.
Ryan Kitson – Sunshine, tacos, and nerds will definitely make for a great environment to absorb information. Though not surprising, it’s nice to see there is quite the assortment of mobile and tablet sessions, and “Your Mom Has an iPad: Designing for Boomers” has already got me thinking.
I recently had a conversation with my girlfriend about the fact that her mother (who has never had any interest in technology or SXSW, for that matter) is a proud iPad user. Since bringing home her iPad, she heads to bed early each night, curls up with her new Apple wonder, and watches past episodes of “The Bachelor.”
She may not be making full use of the device there, but it’s nice to know us technophiles are not the only ones enjoying the portability of this technology. I look forward to hearing the shtick.
Michael Liss – BBQ. Okay, other than eating some real BBQ, I’m most excited about being awash in people who eat, drink and breathe all things digital – that contagious passion I pick up at industry events that should be rocking to the nth degree at SXSWi. The people, companies, products and ideas that are changing the landscape faster than we can map it. SXSWi doesn’t just gather to examine where the digital world is going, but to forge it, to make it happen, right there.
New products and companies roll out in front of your eyes. Ideas and new ways of thinking come flying from all directions. I’m excited to be in the middle of it, to soak everything up, discuss and debate it, be inspired and invigorated, meet new people who live for this, and come back ready to reengage with a fresh perspective, fresh approach, fresh ideas and a pure excitement for putting what comes next into action.
And I also can’t wait for the BBQ.
John Whitcomb – Everything is bigger in Texas. While this may or may not be true, it does reflect what I am looking forward to the most. A chance to experience a new area of the country that I have not been to that has its own culture and way of doing things. From what I hear, Austin is not your typical Texas vision but it is a different city and will give me a chance to get out of the New York area and discover something new. I am sure the sessions will be full of new discoveries as well and that excitement of seeing and learning something for the first time is what I anticipate the most.
Alex Lindgren – Right now, nothing too specific. But I’m excited to see what new things companies are doing and announcing, and learning about new trends in tech – particularly mobile. I’m also really hoping not to be shot, since it’s my first time in Texas, and I hear it’s a place you don’t mess with.
There you have it! That is what each member of the “Austin Six,” as we are known, is looking forward to during SXSW. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @FlightpathNY as well as hashtag #austinsix to keep up on how the festival is living up to our expectations. We’ll see you there!