South by Southwest Interactive 2006 was a blast -- as many folks are mentioning in their blogs. I learned a lot. Here are a couple things I want to do differently next year.
1. Get invited to a meal with more folks
Meals are where the real interaction takes place -- folks discuss their current projects and lessons learned. Opinions over panel discussions and where things are going and the inside scoop on what's going to happen soon.
My suggestion to the A-List folks is to invite a couple people you've just met to join your lunch group. If you are wondering if you are A-List, here's the definition: You are A-List if:
- You are a SxSW panelist
- You wrote or co-wrote a book related to Web Design
- You designed the Firefox logo
Okay, it's more my fault that I never really approached these folks and actually... well... asked to join them for lunch. Except for Dustin Diaz who ditched me after the Superheros panel. I'll cut him some slack for that one. He was pretty busy that day. I suppose what I really want to do next year is to find the courage to ask.
Important side note: All my dining companions during SxSW were awesome: Robert Nyman, Daniel Hansson, Erik Sagen, Eric Shepherd, Shane Shepherd, Jakob Heuser, Dave Seah (Seah not Shea), Chris Mills, Stuart Colville, Jim Archer, Jonathan Snook, others I'm forgetting sorry.
At one lunch, I showed a Photoshop comp of a project I was working on and an impromptu peer review took place. The suggestions were great and the look improved a lot! My favorite comment was "It needs a color." Thanks guys ;-)
The other good thing is that a couple of those folks above will most likely qualify as A-List folks next year. I'll be able to say as undoubtedly :-) I eat lunch without them, "Yeah, I knew them when..."
My participation was limited to foosball that evening -- away from the action -- but next year, bowling for sure. I saw the scores. I saw the high-fives after gutterballs. Beverages were flowing. Averages were declining. And a good time was had by all.