How to connect conference participants

As far as wired conferences go, South By Southwest seems to really be getting it right. You can see all of their oferrings in the SXSW Toolbox. Here’s a list of the resources I have used or checked out so far, and of course the event hasn’t even started yet:

  • Bits + Bytes blog
    They write about things coming up at SXSW and also note when their speakers do something interesting. They even blogged about me a few weeks ago!
  • At the Online Registrant Directory I can customize my badge, edit my bio, find others who are coming, make a list of my friends, and send messages to them.
  • I can get updates during the event on my phone via SMS text messaging, and I can also use SMS to request info while I’m out and about like when the keynote is or where to find vegetarian food.
  • As I browse the schedule, I can add events to my personal calendar and it generates a file that I can subscribe to via iCal. This puts it on my desktop calendar which then gets sync’ed to my Palm device so I will have the info with me on the go.
  • There’s also a community blog that any speaker can post to and a forum for anyone registered for SXSW.
  • Jambo uses wifi to detect proximity between network members so you can find out who is near you with common interests. I’m still a little scared of this one.
  • And of course they also handled my registration online which worked very well, even though I had the added complication of being a speaker. (I wish some other conferences would offer free or reduced registration for speakers…)

And there are much more doodads for the Music and Film festivals as well as some Interactive things I haven’t messed with yet. Whew!

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