I’ve been going to SXSW two years in a row and I’m the first one to agree that it’s a terrific conference. Not only for the talks but mostly for the amazing people that flood the city during the Interactive festival. That said, the conferences has one problem. As a good friend once put it, it’s Spring Break for geeks. While that it’s amazing, for someone coming from a country like Spain, that isn’t somehow that appealing. What is really cool is having drinks with amazing people.
Last year though, most parties were out of control. Too many people, too many parties and fragmentation of cool and interesting people. The solution for many was to attend private parties with close lists or pay entrance fees to places you knew weren’t crowded. This year the problems have escalated. Renting a room is somewhat of an ordeal. The conference early bird prices have gone up and the amount of attendants has increase. Last year I could barely talk more than 5 straight minutes with someone and finding your friends took over 2h.
Each year my time is scarcer, that means I really need to get some return out of attending the conference. While the previous years the intros and people I met overcame the conference burdens, this year it’s not the case. That means that I’m skipping the conference. I’ve realized that most of the people I want to talk to, I either meet them in Europe in conferences like LeWeb or I meet them in the Bay Area. So I’ve decided to change SXSW for a two weeks trip to San Francisco by the end of March, after the conference when everyone is back and free of alcohol.
So if you are like me, let’s meet in San Francisco! For those that will go to SXSW, do enjoy it and drink for me!