Finding Value at SXSW

It’s the last day here in Austin for SXSW Interactive. I’m taking a breath before heading to another session. This isn’t a typical post for me, but I just wanted to get this out there.

I plan to post more about insights when I return. But one thing has resonated with me here. Value is not given to you without some work on your end. I have made it a point to meet people wherever I can – the hotel shuttle, the elevator, the women’s room! But what I saw a lot of people doing was staying very attached to the posse they arrived with, staring at their smart phone, and missing huge opportunities.

Some sessions were underwhelming, but I made a decision to behave unlike the usually overly polite me and use my time for value. If one session wasn’t working for me, I got up, walked out and hunted for the one with a crowd of engaged people. I discovered some amazing people and ideas this way. But for heaven’s sake, I attended panels! (I even earned the “Panel Nerd” badge on Foursquare!)

I also took advantage of the technology and scanned the QR codes of people without cards, used the wireless and online scheduling, and basically tried to get every cent of value I could out of my attendance. In other words, I’m a grown up here. I’m a business person with business goals. I won’t deny I’ve had fun and enjoyed some yummy barbecue, but free beer was not on my list of priorities.

So while it’s easy to point to outside forces, what have you done to add value to your experience lately?

Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the Chief Customer Experience Investigator™ and founder of 360Connext, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the cornerstones of customer experience: customer engagement, employee engagement and connections like social media. 360Connext serves mid-market companies and larger by helping them evaluate their true customer experience. The evaluations always lead to improvements which then lead to results like increased online conversions or loyalty.

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4 comments
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Debba Haupert
Debba Haupert

Jeannie - it was wonderful meeting you at SXSW. I love women who are engaged in social media and in learning with passion. I'm having SXSW withdrawals! Thanks for connecting and I hope to see you next year or at another geeky conference soon! Debba / Girlfriendology

Brad Farris
Brad Farris

QR codes? You earned more than your panel nerd badge I'd say. Still the underlying idea is right on, value is there for the taking, but no one's going to hand it to you (at least not right now) we need to get scrappy and make it happen. Brad

Jeannie Walters
Jeannie Walters

I find I am most impressed/inspired by scrappy people, too. The ones who took an idea and with little else, pushed ahead. Thanks for the comment, Brad.

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