How To Keep Up With New Connections At Large Conferences

Last year at SxSW, a lot of networking went on. I had the opportunity to meet some great people like Wayne Sutton, Louis Gray, Chris BroganLynne D. Johnson, Brian Solis, and Drew Olanoff. It was pretty easy to find most of them, but I’d like to share a few tools I used to connect with the old, and make new connections simultaneously. These are the tools I’ve used to track down my favorite authority figures at SxSW and other conferences. I also recommend this guide for upcoming SxSW newbies.


brightkiteBrightkite was the second most used service for me at SxSW and one of my great sponsors. I had fun using Brightkite to keep track of when friends arrived and who they were hanging out with. It’s also how I got the custom Twitter T-shirt shown below:

Corvida Twitter TeeCorvida Twitter Tee

Brightkite even makes it easy to send tweets of your location to your Twitter account, for those who aren’t using it yet. By looking at uploaded photos I could determine which parties were hot and even locate a secret party or two.

You might also want to see what Foursquare and Whrrl (beautiful new iPhone app) are up to this year. Mobile location apps are must-have apps for any conference or event you plan to attend this year.

Twitter (Search)

I think this is self explanatory. Of course Twitter is a great communications tool. However, Twitter search turns Twitter into an intelligent and real-time search engine to help you find what’s relevant faster than Google. Keep track of the hashtags (i.e. #sxsw) used during any conference you attend to find fans and new friends, panels, or parties.

I also recommend throwing in a few extra keywords to filter and fine-tune your results and prevent yourself from of drowning in the flood of tweets streaming into one hashtag. If twitter search is down, switch to TweetTabs or Twazzup or head to EverythingTwitter for more Twitter search tools.


contxts How many times have you run out of business cards or forgotten them altogether? I didn’t even bring business cards last year (and I still don’t). That’s OK because ConTxts can save the day!

Contxts is an SMS business card that allows anyone to text your name to 50500 and receive more information about you.

  • Try texting “Corvida” to 50500

You should receive a brief bio along with my contact info. Pretty neat right? If you sign up for the service you will be able to see who requested your info and their number or have the service text you when someone requests your info. It doesn’t get any better or more simple than that.

Leave a Comment:

  • What tools are you using to communicate at conferences?
  • What tools have you avoided altogether?
  • What tools do you hope to use in the future?
Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on