I’ve had a ton of people ask me why I’m not at SxSW and, rather than repeating myself via direct message, I figure I talk about transparency all the time so I should tell you why I’m not there.

I run a business. Granted, it’s a small business, but I have employees, I have payroll to cut, I have checks to sign, I have clients to answer to, and I have goals to achieve. So, just like any other business expense, I have to weigh the pros and cons of the return on investment, not just on the out-of-pocket costs to attend, but also on the time lost that I could be working with clients (i.e. making money).

Sure, there are returns on both time and money at conferences IF potential clients attend the same events. But, in the case of SxSW, as fun as it would be to hang out with my friends, meet Twitter friends in real life, and be among the social media hubbub, the potential to come home with new business opportunities was slim to none. So, from an emotional standpoint, I’m dying to be there, but from a business perspective, I made the right choice.

Does that mean I’ll never show up to SxSW? No. But if I am there, you’ll know it’s because there is a potential to grow my business by showing up and participating.

Besides, I’m watching the tweet stream,  I’m reading the blog posts from those attending, and I’m consuming as much media as I can get my hands on so I don’t miss any of the news or trends. What I’m really missing are the parties.

What do you think? Am I missing more than that? Why are you or are you not at SxSW?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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