We where present at #SXSW and had the opportunity to experience it from a Small Business point of view. Different to other smaller conferences focused on many of the same subjects, I can clearly say that if you are a Small Business Owner the environment of #SXSW makes you feel right at home. There were sessions focused the small business owners in mind. There were also great people attending the event, who wanting to get to know you as a person and later as a business.
Some of the clear Benefits we received as a small business were the following.
- Tapping into a Large Network of Quality People with common interests without measuring how big your organization is. It gives you the opportunity to meet people from various professional levels from all types of organizations.
- Many people together exchanging ideas from various perspectives. You had developers, marketers, bloggers, and people from various walks of life all sharing their experience from their point of view. I have gone to many conferences where I usually get ideas are from people that do something different than what I do every day.
- Refreshing your current efforts. It might be frustrating to get things done when you have individuals or a group of people that don’t get what you do. Based on conversations and interactions, new ideas will arise helping you take a new approach at something that you have probably been frustrated about.
- It can also help you find new tools and gadgets. I usually end up learning about the most practical and cost effective gadgets and applications when I am surrounded around peers who have been using them. I end up getting tools that are better and faster at getting things done than what I might be currently using. A good example of interesting apps I was recommended during #SXSW were Beluga (recommended by @hectorramos) and Liveshare which I learned at a party sponsored by their creator Cooliris.
- Extending your network with stronger relationships. It is not the same to meet someone online than meeting them in person and continuing the conversation online. Every time I have met someone in person and later on reached out to them online I have created great quality relationships which I and my company have benefited very highly from the interactions.
Did we miss any other benefits of going to a conference like SXSW?