Attending SXSW can be a whirlwind of live performances, big announcements, and networking. Keeping track of what’s going on can be a challenge even for the most connected individual.
We offer five suggestions for attendees that want to know about the latest social buzz before the crowd:
1. Read the Mashable “newspaper.” It’s surprisingly one of the more helpful things you can look at if you want to know what’s happening at the festival, what people are talking about, and more. It’s an ironic “newspaper” handout that Mashable prints and distributes by the thousands.
2. Use Management Tools (Viralheat, Hootsuite, etc). One of the best ways to see what people are saying about SXSW at any given time is through a social keyword search. Whether you care about concerts, the party scene, or which panels were most hated, just set up the right keywords and get a good idea of what people are saying in real time.
3. Rely on word of mouth. It may seem odd to engage in non-smartphone communication, but what people are saying in person can be very helpful. Going with the flow, hanging out with friends, and hearing the latest gossip is a time-tested way of finding out the latest buzz.
4. Use your social media mix. Plancast/Eventbrite, Facebook/Twitter – everyone uses different sites online and each of them can help you determine what’s happening and what’s being talked about.
5. Check in on Foursquare. It was invaluable last year in terms of knowing where friends are located in real time so you can easily meet up to share the news.
Despite the serious business that is discussed and all of the news announcements, SXSW is supposed to be fun. So conduct your search for the latest buzz with a sense of adventure, and use a blend of old-school and new-school social tactics to make friends and enjoy yourself while you stay informed.