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SXSW Update #2

Source: Merrick Ales
POP QUIZ: Remember when we told you last week that SXSW Interactive was a mere 8 weeks away. So guess how far away it is this week? (Yes it’s math, but it’s easy math.)

Why do we keep counting down the weeks like wee children waiting for Santa? Well, if we told you that there are, at right this very minute 1,100 panels to choose from, would you need to breathe into a paper bag to keep from hyperventilating?

We did, so we wouldn’t be surprised.

So we’re going to take this whole thing slow like. Tell you how to make plans, why you shouldn’t carry pepper spray, where our booth is... The important stuff.

For our good deed this week, we talked to uber agent and veteran SXSW panel assistant Renee Diaz to get the top picks of her panels for this year. And to tell us what the heck a panel assistant does anyway.

Of the 15 panels she’s handling (below), she’s very excited about:

Of course we’re all excited about our friend Jeffrey Zeldman, of An Event Apart and A List Apart, being inducted into the SXSW Hall of Fame. We’re not sure if this is what they did to Han Solo in Star Wars (freezing him in a block of carbonite), but we’re definitely going to be in attendance.

And what about the panel assistant gig? It’s fairly sweet. If you can get one. According to Renee, you get to:
  • Hobnob with interactive legends. (Last year she helped a panel that featured Pete Cashmore)
  • Be at the forefront of all the hot industry trends
  • Chat with the speakers on your panel and help them make sure their presentations stay on time and on track
  • Evaluate your panels afterward and give your feedback to the Powers That Be about whether or not that panel should happen again next year
  • Work with other panel assistants and get to hear what they’re working on
  • Quite possibly get bumped up to a Platinum Badge; meaning all access across SXSW Interactive, Music and Film!
  • Help this event MOVE. (Until you go, you won’t believe how fast people get badges. TSA, take heed!)

Though it’s too late to jump in on the action this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer in 2013. There’s two different levels of of volunteers (Conference and Production) which include everything from photographers and stage crew members to hospitality and helping create directional signs for the millions of conference goers.

It’s a cast of thousands - last year over 3,000 volunteers in all.

Interested? All the volunteer info is here.

Okay, that’s it for this week.

With this and last week’s post, we’ve covered a whopping .9 % of all the panels.

You’re welcome.

Here's a list of Renee’s panels (yeah, there are a LOT): Current Experiments, CSS4 and the Future - Divya Manian, Web Opener at Opera Software

The Human Cost of Failed Government Technology - Erine Gray, Founder of Aunt Bertha Inc.

Live the Game: A Lifestyle with a Gaming Sense - Tish Shute, founder of Ugotrade

Language of Mutilation: Grammar for Ads & Life - Gail Marie, Proofreader at McKinney

Designing Games for Documentary - Cindy Poremba, Game Design for Kokoromi

Juggalos: Rabid Branding, a Case Study - Jenny Benevento, User Experience Architect/Taxonomist for Sears Holdings Corporation Breaking the Mold for eGovernment - Hillary Hartley, Dir of Integrated Mktg. at NIC Inc.

The State of Browser Developer Tools - Mike Taylor, Web Opener at Opera Software

Prototype vs. Sim: Validating Software & UX Design - Robert Tuttle, Exec Tech Director at frog

Building Community Engagement Around Open Content - Stephen Saber, CEO The Pulse Network

Design from the Gut: Dangerous or Differentiator? - Phil Coffman, Creative Director for Element

Consumer Patterns Revealed by Dating Site Insiders - Laurie Davis, Founder/CEO of eFlirt Expert

Multiplatform Storytelling: Frontline War Stories - Brian Seth Hurst, CEO for The Opportunity Management Company Inc.

FOMO: How Can Brands Tap into Fears of Missing Out - Ann Mack, Dir of Trendspotting at JWT

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