The Silicon Beach Fest opening party at the Viceroy in Santa Monica started out small, but quickly grew to a packed house. For the first day, I wasn’t able to get view the website for the Festival schedule because, as I was told, the site was overwhelmed with traffic and crashed. It was too much of a good thing I guess.
The Festival, much like the Silicon Beach community itself, is fractured and decentralized. The panels took place mostly in two locations ROC and Cross Campus in Santa Monica, and at these locations there were usually three compartmentalized ‘tracks’ of panels going on in the building. At any given time during the festival there were always at least six (sometimes more) panels or events all happening at once. Hollywood, Gaming, Startups, Advertising, Social Media, and other topics were topics being discussed in different rooms or as part of certain tracks. This is reflective of Silicon Beach, which itself comprised of many different elements.
This can be frustrating at times because you may wish you could be at two events at once and there is no way you can see it all. I recommend planning what panels or tracks are most interesting to you ahead of time. Ideally the entire festival could take place in one location to make floating from discussion to discussion easier, but most people have a ‘track’ that is their focus.
There was so much to see and do it was almost overwhelming. Hackathons, lunches, parties, fashion shows, demos, and after parties. I recommend trying to get in as much as possible. For me, it’s also important to not be too rigid, sometimes it’s nice to go sit in on something I know nothing about, talk to people and see what they are doing, and be open to exploring other topics. You may have more interest and connection to the topic/discussion than you thought.
If you love technology and or entertainment, and have interest in startups and innovation, as I do, you would definitely enjoy this festival.
I look forward to next years, and have a feeling it’s only going to get bigger and better in the years ahead.
Julian Tyler is a screenwriter and media professional from Northern California. A Los Angeles resident for six years, he has worked on several hit films and TV shows, and follows the entertainment industry closely. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Julian has studied the media industries for many years. When he is not writing, working on films, TV shows, or media projects he is attending the best events in Los Angeles. Julian is proud to be a contributor to Pacific Punch. Follow him on twitter @JulianTyler and the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch.