I had the pleasure of traveling to Las Vegas a few weeks ago for the second annual SXSW V2V conference. If you haven’t heard of it, the good folks at SXSW (yes, the people who put on those massive events/parties in Austin every March) have started an event for entrepreneurs, small businesses and the like to network, develop skills and learn how to take their ideas and talents to the next level. Over the course of a few days, I had the chance to mix it up with a lot of entrepreneurs doing some pretty exciting things – and of course sample just a bit of the fun that the city has to offer. Yes, even in the desert heat in the middle of the summer, Vegas can be pretty enjoyable. Besides, it’s a dry heat.
For me, here were the key themes of the trip:
- The people. No matter where I go, when it comes right down to it, the other attendees are almost always the biggest gauge for me of whether or not I have a good conference experience. Do we share some common ground? Do I enjoy, and can I contribute to, the sense of community at the event? Are we able to share best practices and schools of thought, help each other and more? With V2V, my answer to all three was a strong yes.
- The thinking. It’s rare nowadays that I go to a conference and see or hear something I’ve never been exposed to before. But I absolutely love hearing different takes on new and different topics, challenging myself to see things from another perspective and figuring out whether or not there’s value to be added for my clients or in my own business. And when I do encounter something new, it’s the icing on the cake. At V2V, there was quite a bit of all of this, making for quite the intellectually stimulating experience.
- The game-changing ideas. Have you ever been in a room with a few people who are literally reinventing the way we live? Well, at V2V, there were scores of them. Being there allowed me to take a few moments to think about all the possibilities…
Yes, the event was quite different than Interactive. Depending on what you’re into, though, that might not be a bad thing. It’s much smaller; there were a couple hundred attendees, as opposed to the tens of thousands that trek to Austin every March. The focus and content was different, and aimed at a distinctive audience. And obviously, the location and venue were much different. The best way to decide for yourself if it might be for you would be to check out the website or even possibly make the trip yourself next year.
This was my first SXSW conference of any kind, so obviously it was my first V2V event. I think it’s pretty safe to say I hope to be back. Speaking of which, I’ve submitted a session proposal for the Interactive conference in Austin next March; stay tuned for more details on that, as well as how you can help ensure the session gets on the agenda!