Day three at South by Southwest was another day of interesting panels. Although I was learning more about the inner workings of the business, the feeling that this is a business built on connections was not lost on me. Everyone saw my blue badge and once they learned I didn't have a film they weren't interested in knowing who I was and making that connection.
As someone who has worked in the private sector I believe everyone you meet can lead to a business relationship at some point. Also, a rule that Wil Wheaton likes to remind everyone of, don't be a dick. The day went on and I tried not to get discouraged and decided I would attend one of the official parties instead of hanging out at the local places. It was time to step up my exposure. I had come a long way and alone and if I was going to network this was the next step I needed to take; besides it was free food and drinks.
This plan proved to be brilliant.
It wasn't that I rubbed shoulders with big names; I mean I did that, but I made connections and had fun. Being a naturally shy person this was a test to see if I could overcome that natural anxiety of approaching people in crowds and start conversations. I was meeting people from overseas, NY and LA. I met the team from the documentary Brooklyn Castle (you can follow them on twitter @Brooklyn_Castle), which I had been hoping to see since I looked through my brochure, and talked with them most of the night. I also met some other business people and the great thing about the night was they were so willing to give me advice as well as just talk.
Sometimes you have to keep pushing and if one strategy isn't working you need to be flexible. I didn't want to hit the official parties at first because I had made assumptions about them, also that I didn't belong at them. Too, bad I had the worst hangover the next morning.