SXSW VR and Networking — Day 4

Networking is for the Brave of Heart

What with waiting in line to get into Interactive sessions, tweeting at Donny Osmond, and rushing between hotels, I had yet to partake in the major draw of SXSW: networking!

On a communal bench inside the Marriott hotel, I sat charging my phone and looking generally unenthused. Or so the nice chap who sat down next to me claimed.

I was so overwhelmed and my expression showed it. I faced the classic networking dilemma: either barge into a chatty group discussing the expanding VR landscape or risk bothering some lone soul hunkered over her iPhone.

While I pondered from the safety of my bench, a gentleman sat himself down, looked over at me, and said something like “How are you liking your sessions so far?”

So simple!

From our friendly chat I learned he was on the business side of an agency and he was here to experience all things VR. He turned me on to exhibits with dizzying VR gear and suggested I go to a VR demo hall. Facebook Oculus, NASA’s Space Telescope for 2018 were among the hodgepodge of demos to try. That was by far the most interesting part of SXSW tech!

Then I joined a VR networking session (Not just for the open bar, I swear!) I tried out headgear where I saw a 3D map of the developer’s hometown in Maine (I was a lobster in a trap for part of the experience).

Sometimes simple is better. Thanks to my fellow SXSW attendee, he helped set the tone for being open to casual conversation. Especially while charging my phone.