How do I know, when I’m not even there? By reading what others say. For starters, here’s Jolie O’Dell who attends this year’s conference:
Too many people, not enough tech.
…non-technical people aren’t here to learn; they’re here for self-congratulation and mutual masturbation. People I’ve never heard of are referring to themselves as Twitter celebrities and generally making me ill.
This show isn’t fun, and I won’t be coming back.
For contrast, non-attendee Danny Brown says: Why I’m Not Missing SxSW. Dennis Howlett chimes in: The not attending SXSW grump report Yes, Dennis is a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, but he has a point, and he does not seem to be alone.
I dropped by at the Cloud Connect conference yesterday (yes, dear organizers, I sneaked in with my badge from the previous event hosted by SAP’s CEOs, as your registration closed early.) From the full house (standing room only) at Geoffrey Moore’s session I tweeted:
So are all the workabees @ #ccevent while the party types went to #SXSW?
Chirag Mehta picked up on my teasing Geoffrey Moore:
You probably get the drift by now… but here’s Jeremy Pepper spelling it out for you: I Don’t Do SXSWi
For the past few years, I keep hearing the same thing about SXSWi:
- It’s spring break for social media
- It’s a week long party
- It’s one night after the other of bars and alcohol
- It’s great networking
- I go every year, and make my agency pay for it no matter what because it’s a great party (this said to me by a former boss when I asked what the value is there – notice nothing about actual work, though).
I rarely hear “it’s a great event for my company/agency to reach the right people for product A, B or C”. It’s always about the drinking.
… take a step back and think of this: can you justify missing Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday to your boss or client? And, well, the rest of the week is a wash also if you’re hungover.
And, as a sage executive said to me about CES: there’s going to be a bad day of reckoning for social media. Corporations are going to ask for ROI, and going to party is not ROI.
Sour grapes? I don’t think so. But back to the question on how I know SXSW has peaked? Because declaring non-participant status is becoming trendy. This would have been unthinkable last year. So my prediction for next year: there will be even more : “why I am not going” declarations, and the year after SXSWI will be “uncool”. The trendsetters move on to another party conference
Image by Hugh MacLeod, who calls it the annual 5-day drunken orgy (which he is attending, btw….)