The money graph, as they say, is:
All that being said, when someone asks me, “Should I attend SXSW?” I tell them this: the sessions will be valuable and interesting, some better than others. But to get the most out of it, you have to go there with people in mind. If you’re willing to be social and friendly, to stick your hand out and introduce yourself, and focus on developing relationships as opposed to developing business, then you’ll come home with something money can’t buy.
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UPDATE: A loyal reader pointed out that I’ve written before about the value of attending conferences.