I’ve been going to SXSW for a few years now, and I finally decided that this year I’ll be skipping. And, I don’t know if I’ll be back.
The fact that there are no hotels available didn’t really seal the deal; I have a couple of options for places to stay. I just don’t know the festival can continue to be as awesomely valuable as it has been over the past years.
And, no. I’m (sort of) not doing the hipster-ish, “It’s not cool now because everyone likes it” bit. Last year was nearly impossible to get to or get into the panels and presentations I really wanted to see. There was just so many people. And, with this year slated to have even more people than last year, I just can’t see how the experience can be that valuable.
Now, I am reserving the right to show up for the weekend unbadged and hang out with folks away from the ACC. That, honestly, has been the most valuable part of my SXSW experiences anyway. I’ve formed some great friendships and working relationships over beer, tacos and barbecue over the years.
But, as for conferences, I’ve got my eye set on An Event Apart Boston. San Diego looks great, but also like one that has the most things I’ll probably pick up on my own anyway.