As I begin my adventure to SXSW (South By Southwest) Interactive 2014 in Austin, Texas, my mouth is watering for great BBQ and hot digital marketing topics. I was a newbie in 2013, so this year I’m better prepared for the chaos of trying to get into popular sessions. This year, I’m battle-tested, armed with experience and new technology, and ready to fight the crowds again to get in to the sessions with hot topics.

Here are some of my personal favorite sessions that I want to attend to grow as a Digital Strategist for my clients:

Austin, Texas

Social Media: Strategies That Work & Future Trends
Digital Disruption: The Next Wave of Innovation
Content & Commerce: The Digital Cronut
Mosh Pit of Experts 2014: The Future of Social
Rich Web Experiences & the Future of the Web
Social on the Field: Sports Stars & Social Goals
The Onions of Interactive Infographic Design
Evolution of Storytelling: Brands As Broadcasters

What amazing topics… and those are just the ones the festival’s first day! With my targeted sessions planned out, the next step to prepare for fighting the crowds is to load up on equipment.

My battle gear includes my Android phone with the SXSW app downloaded, my iPad with Evernote and WordPress for publishing summaries of the sessions that I conquer, an extra phone battery, a 10,000 mAh portable battery charger with lots of juice for the long days, and my backpack of snacks and drinks to survive the long waits in the lines.

The last thing that I’m preparing to do before entering the battlefield on the streets of Austin is find an awesome BBQ joint for a good meal this evening. Last year, I visited Stubb’s for lunch before the first day and filled up on an all-you-can-eat lunch deal. That was one of my best meals ever, with incredibly tasty brisket, but too filling before warfare since I think I doubled my body weight at that meal. This year, I’ll be slightly more conservative and find a BBQ place with big, but not enormous, portions of meat, slaw, and extras.

I hope you check back to see all of my session reviews as I share the best of the best tips, news, and techniques that I learn. Now, it’s time to prepare for battle!