SXSW: 12 Things To Do If You’re Not In Austin (Some Social Media Included!)

If you’re thinking SXSW is where all the cool social media kids are except me, I don’t want to burst your bubble but the truth is you’re not alone.  Of course, many of those who aren’t at SXSW probably won’t tell you so because they don’t want to publicize the fact they’re not part of the in-group. 

Instead of sitting in front of your Twitter client watching the tweets go by, feeling left out, take advantage of this opportunity to do something special for yourself. Of course, if you prefer, you can gather the insights and information remotely via live streaming, blogging and tweeting. While you’d be missing out on the networking and parties, you can learn from the content shared while saving money on the hotel and travel expenses.

  1. Attend an “I’m not there” event. There are a couple of “We’re celebrating without being there” events.  Mack Collier, founder of the well known #BlogChat, with LinkedIn’s Mario Sundar created #NotAtSXSW; and #UsGuys runs a chat with the hashtag, #USxSW.
  2. Create a last minute, impromptu social media gathering in your town. While it’s not the same, it gets your out from behind your computer and makes you a mover and shaker in your hometown.
  3. Write advance posts for your blog. Get a jumpstart on the next period’s posts or stockpile some articles for that last minute emergency that always seems to pop up. Create evergreen content that works any time. Make sure that they’re edited with links and photographs. (Here’s some blog post ideas.)
  4. Develop guest posts. Send out requests to a variety of blogs in your category, small, medium and large. Target your request to improve your chances of being accepted.
  5. Clean out your email. Face it—who wants to spend time on email? But no matter how organized you are, it can get out of control.
  6. Get your taxes done. Whether you’re getting a refund or not, do the paperwork so you’ve organized and ready to file in advance of the deadline.
  7. Do spring cleaning. Have your papers piled up? Haven’t yet filed last year’s information? This is a good time to plow through and clean out what you don’t need. Remember it’s not just your papers, it’s also your computer files.
  8. Backup your computer and update software. If you’re like most people, you don’t think about it or don’t take time for this maintenance type work until there’s a problem. At a minimum, back up your most important files (particularly your documents and data.)
  9. Take a sabbatical from social media. Instead of fretting about what you’re not part of, un-plug and get away from your electronic gadgets. (Of course, this depends on your tolerance for not being in communication.)
  10. Exercise your body. Nothing’s better for lifting your mood than a physical workout. Get out and do something active. Take a walk or a bicycle ride.
  11. Spend time with family and friends. Do you ever feel like all you see is your computer screen? If so, make a promise to yourself to not talk about the Internet or social media. This includes no check-ins.
  12. Pamper yourself. Treat yourself to something special such as a massage or a mani-pedi. The idea is to do something you think is fun and relaxing.

Regardless of what you choose to do, enjoy yourself and focus on being present where you are. Don’t spend your time feeling bad about what you’re not doing at SXSW. Rather, celebrate what you’ve accomplished without the wear and tear of traveling.

What else would you add to this list of what to do if you’re not at SXSW?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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