As a rule, when I go to conferences and trade shows, I try to plan ahead.
I make appointments and reach out to specific individuals in hopes of meeting for the first time, re-connecting from previous relationships or engagements, see old friends, and meet people just because I follow them on Facebook, Twitter or through a person's blog.
- met an Indie Artist whose music I am going to check out on iTunes
- met a very successful software entrepreneur who recognized my name, and told me what a fan he was of one my YouTube video that I recently did on a Fender Amp I had purchased.
- hung out with my buddies from San Antonio's Web 2.0 community which I will be covering tomorrow for my San Antonio Startups Blog
- met people that I follow, and whose persona came to life in meeting them in person
- and had people come up to me who recognized my face or read my badge as they follow me on various social networks.
These chance meetings and outreach of established or instant relationships reflect the energy and yes, the love I felt on Day #1 of SXSW.
Sure, there's still a bit of dust to settle from the fallout of this economic malaise, but just you watch: with all this positive energy abound, I sense an economic and creative revitalization of our country, and our world at large, in the making.
Yup, it's brewing and bubbling here in Austin, Texas – during SXSW.