The start of a new year brings one of the most anticipated spring events hosted in the Austin community: South by Southwest, or better known as SXSW. Although the event takes place in early March, tickets are already disappearing quickly and the guest list is nothing short of impressive. Big brands will attend, but what does SXSW mean for a small business?
Make New Contacts
Many well-known people and companies will be in attendance, which leads to networking opportunities. Whether it is meeting your next hire or finding a mentor to advise your business, the event brings a diverse group of people.
You won’t be the only small business there. SXSW brings businesses of all sizes, and the smaller ones are going through similar obstacles. This is prime opportunity to share experiences and advice.
Share Your Collateral
Have plenty of business cards, marketing material, and branded swag on hand to pass out as you network. This will help you connect with people, share your brand and get people excited about your company.
This is an event revolved not only around entertainment but learning sessions that promote new ideas to help you adapt to the digital age and grow your business. If you attend the events and sessions that will improve and grow your company, the experience will be worthwhile. Find the sessions that most interest you and your company, but be open to attending new, interesting events recommended by others. You won’t be able to attend all the sessions, so pick ones you think will be of value.
Find The Latest and Greatest
Demonstrations of the newest gadgets will be on display. Tools that could be cost-effective for your company will be available with a handful of seasoned users willing to teach the ins and outs of the product. Pay attention to the brands. You may discover the next big thing, similar to how Twitter launched, and you’ll be among the first to test it out.
Provide Live Updates.
SXSW is an interactive event and live tweeting is encouraged. Share what you’re learning and experiencing at SXSW and engage with your audience. This also encourages your audience and peers to seek you out during the conference, leading to in-person networking opportunities.
Remember: wear comfy shoes, drink lots of water, and most importantly, enjoy yourself – SXSW is supposed to be fun, not stressful!
What are you tips for small businesses attending SXSW?