Every movement begins with a moment.

Newbies No More: Renee and Eric Return From SXSW

Posted 24 March 2015 1:30 PM by Renee Blake and Eric Payne

SXSW 2015 has come and gone, and we learned a lot in a very short period of time. We didn’t stay lost for long.

Renee Blake: Parting Words From a (Former) Newbie

My badge is loaded up with buttons. My feet are sporting the appropriate amount of blisters, and my head is bursting with thoughts: Alas, my time in Austin has come to an end. From White House CTO Meagan Smith to Grammy award-winning soul goddess Erykah Badu, there was never a dull slice of time at SXSW '15.

Something I would change:

Stay a day longer and pack slightly less into each day so that I can soak up more.

Something I would never change: Lounge for all its nourishment through passion and empowerment.

Something this newbie looks forward to next time:

Worthy south bites and dead battery rescue dogs.

Thank you SXSW '15 for satisfying and amplifying my curiosity. Until we meet again. 

Eric Payne: Lost, Then Found in Austin

I spent an amazing five days in Austin, Texas, with my Moxie partner in crime, Renee Blake. I left SXSW being very comfortable in my own skin, on a first-name basis with the SXSW Mazda drivers and able to navigate the SXSW festival grounds with ease. By the time it was over, although nothing close to a pro, I was holding my own with the best of them as a non-millennial male.

What to do:

First, don’t rely 100% on technology, as counterintuitive as this may sound. Read the booklets presented by the conference. In many instances print materials were way more reliable (thanks to spotty Wi-Fi) than the app at providing necessary information. Second, check out the branded lounges and see which one resonates with you the most. Oftentimes, the best learning and networking experiences come unintentionally in these casual spaces. And definitely try to take in a film while you’re there.

What not to do:

Do your best not to succumb to FOMO — the fear of missing out. The crush of the number of events happening around you at the exact same time can cause you to believe you aren’t learning enough, getting enough, doing enough. It’s a surefire recipe for being stressed out and unengaged where you are.

Something I learned about myself:

Pacing is everything, Austin is beautiful, and I have just as much to offer as everyone else in attendance. I made sure to go for morning runs and eat at authentic local establishments to enjoy the place where I was while enjoying the space where I was.

The best part:

Serendipity is everywhere. I met tons of people in passing who amplified the experience beyond what I could’ve planned for or expected. And last,  but definitely not least: Meerkat.

Looking forward to more and better in 2016!


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