7 Ways to Experience South by Southwest Without Actually Being There

Each year, thousands of people converge on Austin, Texas to make their annual pilgrimage to the South by South West (SXSW) Music and Film Interactive. And that leaves a huge void for those of us who aren't able to attend. A never ending stream of Facebook status updates and Tweets from the moment they start packing their suitcases only serve as a constant reminder that 1) we're not going and 2) we wish we were.

Photo by SkyHigh Photography

So what do you do if you're not one of the lucky ones going to SXSW but you still want to keep up with that's going on and feel like you're part of the "in crowd?"

  1. Watch previously aired episodes of Austin City Limits.
  2. Follow the goings on of friends who are actually there via Twitter and Facebook. I know I'll be living vicariously through @TheOtherLeslie and @PaulMay.
  3. Check out a free festival sampler on iTunes.
  4. Follow SXSW hashtags.
  5. Retweet every and all SXSW updates you can get your hands on.
  6. Start making travel arrangements for next year's festival.
  7. Use the extra time to actually get some work done.

If you can't make it to Austin, don't fret--there are plenty of strategies and tools for you to help you stay connected and feel like you're part of the crowd. Plus, there's always next year.

Do you have a strategy or tip that's not on the list? Share your ideas by leaving a comment.

[Photo via SXSW.com]

Shawn Graham collaborates with small- to medium-sized companies to develop impactful social media and marketing communications content and strategies and seasoned job seekers to help them find their true north. Find Shawn at CourtingYourCareer.com.

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