Earlier this week, I provided tips and insights into those new to the 2012 SXSW Interactive Conference, held in Austin, Texas, from March 9 to 13. Organizing your time and connecting with your friends at a conference of this magnitude, with more than 24,000 attendees, is a challenge, and I thought I would share seven applications to help organize your time, your friends and your life at SXSW.
- Group.me. One of my favorite conference apps. Even those that — gasp — don’t have a smartphone can take advantage of this service which offers members of self-created groups alerts via text or by push from their mobile app. Best of all, the service is free and easy to use.
- Bluelight. Another great app available for download in iTunes. It offers the ability to schedule a message to be sent to a contact in your address book later and at a specified time. A text message or e-mail is sent at a designated time allowing your privacy. This could come in useful if you have a tendency to lose track of time (like me) especially at an event like SXSW.
- EchoEcho. Available on all smartphones free of charge with their newest version launched this year at SXSW. Connect with everyone within your contacts and share your exact location. And by exact location I mean exact location. If you are inside a building that has been mapped by the developer, the app will tell you the room as well as the floor where your friend is housed. Creepy yet effective for large conferences and events like SXSW.
- Tweet-a-Beer. Tweet-a-Beer is a mobile Web app that can help you make friends fast. You just purchase a beer for others over Twitter, and that’s certain to make you popular wherever your SXSW networking and travels take you.
- iWork Suite. Launched last year in time for the iPad2, it offers you the ability to multitask while between SXSW and work, because these days with technology we never really can get away. Each suite member is sold separately for $9.99 and includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
- Evernote. A mainstay for any technie, Evernote is a fantastic note-taking tool to store ideas and key points from the sessions and conversations you attend. Think of it as your digital cocktail napkin in which to record your creative genius in real time as it transpires. Available free for Mac, iPad and iPhone.
- SXSW GO. Of course no SXSW is complete without downloading the official SXSW conference app. Organize your events, share the experience and access the SXSW attendee directory.
We all know that your mobile device, whether a smartphone or tablet, can be essential communication, organization and networking tool. While apps are important to help make the most of your time at SXSW, it’s equally important to keep your devices charged. While charging stations are nice, they keep you tied to a specific location. That’s why I recommend carrying a portable backup battery designed specifically for mobile devices.
This post is by Jessica Miller-Merrell, a leadership blogger at Blogging4Jobs. She is a digital strategist with a passion for recruiting, human resources, training and social media and is the author of “Tweet This! Twitter for Business,” a how-to business guide for Twitter.