The interactive portion of the 2014 SXSW conference in Austin is a national event and here are key business networking tips that any entrepreneur can use during any event in any city.
The wisdom came from several entrepreneurs in diverse fields via Inc magazine online.
The founder of about.me, Tony Conrad, says at a large conference, select a core group of people and stick with them. "If you kind of roll out with that group of people every night, there are always new people they know who you meet…It's a very effective way of broadening your circle."
Look for places where people hang out, says Brooke Hammerling of Brew PR. You have to navigate based on what the weather brings you. Hotel lobbies are places everyone moves through, so they're great to use as your base."
"Be shameless and fearless," says actress and philanthropist Rosario Dawson who agreed it's hard to strike up a conversation with someone new "but you have to realize this is your opportunity, and you never know who that person is going to be."
Don't just pitch yourself to someone, says David Preiss, the director of user experience and founding partner at Launch Interactive. "Ask questions about who they are before you start telling them about yourself."
The SXSW website has up to date information for the 2014 conference and will contain info for 2015.