Tue, 4 March 2014
Welcome to episode one of New Business Networking Radio. I'm so excited you are here to hear the show. This episode features a chat with Hugh Forrest, Director of South by Southwest Interactive. SXSW begins tomorrow. Are you going?
If you have ever dreamed of creating your own meet up or conference, or if you plan to attend one, this episode is a must listen. Hugh Forrest has been with SXSW since 1989, and he has brilliant advice you can use today.
SXSW had a lot of lucky breaks along the way. For a long time, they struggled to find their voice.
SXSW Interactive has grown astronomically because of social media and start-ups. More importantly, they are connected to a vibrant, rich, passionate, intelligent, and engaged community.
"The more you can engage the community and work with the community, and reflect the passion, interests, and energy of the community, the stronger the event you can make."
Learn how Hugh went from journalism to conference organizing. He also confesses what he wants to be when he grows up.
SXSWi had less than 5,000 attendees in 2006. This year they are expecting nearly 30,000 people! Hugh shares advice for conference organizers who want to take their events to the next level.
"Slow growth is good growth, grow organically."
"Bigger is not necessarily better."
How Hugh deals with the stress of his job. Good points here for you too.
Conference building is a lot like doing a start-up.
"Try not get too high when good things happen. Try not to get too low when bad things happen."
Tips for breaking out of your regular groups and meeting new people at events.
"...if you’re an expert on sports and new media, you should go to something completely out of your wheelhouse. That’s where you’ll get the most value. We like to hang out with our friends, but the most valuable thing about SXSW is making new friends and new connections." - Hugh Forrest interview from Austin Post.
The History of the Button presentation by Bill DeRouchey.
"Choose things that are a little bit different and outside of your realm."
"It's about making connections that can take your career to the next level."
Hugh built SXSW's first database on his Macintosh Plus using Reflex. Remember Reflex?
Hugh tends to be more active on Twitter than Facebook. Say hello by tweeting to him @Hugh_W_Forrest.
He encourages his staff to engage with the people who have positive things to say about SXSW. He puts even more emphasis on engaging and reacting to people who may not have had a great experience. There's often more to learn from these people. You can often turn that critic into a cheerleader.
Twitter was born at SXSW in 2007, Foursquare in 2009. What are the next trends? What's coming? Hugh shares his thoughts.
Hugh talks about the DIY maker movement. 2014 sessions will be about wearable-computing and Internet of Things.
Check out Narrative, the clip-on camera to document your life.
SXSW Interactive runs March 7 - 11.
Don't miss Hugh Forrest's best advice for attending SXSW.
"Events like SXSW specialize in serendipity. Be ready to ditch that game plan at any given point."
"Surrender to serendipity."
Gaping Void's incredible artwork and #SXSW commentary.
Hugh recommends the book, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.
[Tweet ""Surrender to serendipity" - @Hugh_W_Forrest #sxsw"]
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Thanks for listening. You rock!