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Blogging the Big Bags
I just got home from SXSW registration. It was moving along smoothly -- the line for registrants involves filling out a green card with your info and waiting in a single queue until you get to the front where a volunteer directs you to an open badging station. It's like the checkout queue at Fry's, but without the cheap electronics upsells.

One of the benefits of being a registrant is getting the big bags for each of the conferences. I just picked up the Interactive and Film bags this afternoon; the Music bag will be available on Wednesday. So, in the interest of being a Platinum-badge-wearing-bastard, I thought I'd list what came in each bag:

Interactive Bag (sponsored by Adobe, featuring art from explodingdog)

flyers: Rosedale Ride, Grande Communications, Austin Community College, careers.t-3.com, Austin Business Journal, Vox Nox, on Que,
coupons:Freddie's Place/Hickory Street Bar & Grille, Grape Vine Market, Borders, 15th Street Cafe, Pinky's Wireless, Omega Broadcast Group
magazines: MaximumPC, Linux Journal, Austin Chronicle
Film + Interactive Registrant's Lounge pass
airinteractive card with "I am accessible!" sticker
inknoise.com mini-frisbee
c-shell and pearl pack samples from www.cshelldirect.com
"Hello My Blog Is" sticker from www.blogger.com
www.porternovelli.com bottle opener keychain

Film Bag (sponsored by Cinemax, featuring the Daniel Johnston frog)

flyers: 24 Beats Per Second music-related films; American Media Solutions; OklahomaFilm.org; Tuscon Film Office; Austin Television Series Festival; Film, Art and Magic; Dr. Martens; Ransom Center Galleries; Crawford Communications; Bexel, BMI; The Story of Texas; "Drop Dead Sexy;, on Que; Austin Community College; www.spinfest.org; www.sagindie.org; Media Tool Box, TexFx, TalentMatch.com
coupons: Film Comment magazine, Pinky's Wireless, Omega Broadcast Group, Borders, 15th Street Cafe, Freddie's Place/Hickory Street Bar & Grille, Grape Vine Market,
magazines: Production Update, American Cinematographer, Paste, scr(i)pt, paper, Mother Jones, Creative Pulse, Austin Chronicle
"A Killer Within" DVD
"Film Texas" sticker
IndiePix post-it notes
Film Contracts Digest pamphlet from Screen Actors Guild
Avid Xpress product tour CD
c-shell and pearl pack samples from www.cshelldirect.com
Dillo map from Capitol Metro

The swag level feels lower than last year, although I'm sure there will be more interesting stuff on the trade show floor. The ultimate big-bag is the Music festival bag; it usually has more stuff than the film and interactive bags put together. Also notable is the absence of Hyde Park Bar & Grill and Schlotsky's coupons; they've been in the bags the last three years.

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Over the years, Michael's SXSW Music swag bags have had everything from band stickers and music magazines to disposable cigarette lighters and ash trays. The best items are keychains. I still use the a CD opener from CDNOW and the earplug case from ASCAP.

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