South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) is an amazing venue. It is full of new announcements, full of inspired and inspirational people, full of great ideas (and horrible ones), full of parties, full of fun, full of everything that makes being a member of the “cool kids”… well, cool.

How can you cram every second full of content, ideas, meetings etc? How do you make sure that you don’t waste your valuable investment of money, and more importantly time, while in Austin?

RELAX & ENJOY

Yes, relax. That is the best way to take in this wonderful collection of people. THAT is the key – the people are what makes SXSWi so valuable.

Slow down, walk up to someone interesting and ask them what they do. Find out what brings them to Austin. Find out what excites them. Grab a clatch of people, stake out a corner and just start sharing. Share your ideas, your goals and see if there is any synergy. Trust me – there will be.

Don’t chase after the “names.” Don’t be a bandwagon jumper – these folks didn’t make their fame by chasing the so-called big names. Shaking their hand and giving them a business card won’t be a golden ticket to success for you. Sure, say hello and introduce yourself – but being in their entourage only succeeds in making them seem bigger than they are and you smaller.

Enjoy the parties – but not so much that you don’t remember. Enjoy them because it is another way to relax and meet people.

In the end, what you will take away from the event will be those relationships. Make them, strengthen them, build upon them.