Julia Robinson / For AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The weather is cooperating and Hugh Forrest is on stage welcoming thousands of people to Austin — it must be South by Southwest Interactive!

In an opening presentation Friday morning preceding a talk by former vice president Al Gore, SXSWi festival director Hugh Forrest offered attendees 15 things to remember at the fest.

They included:

Make your SXSW game plan. It’s not too late to plan some things out.You control your SXSW experience. Make your own path.So many opportunities to network. Create strong 1-on-1 connections. Small incremental growth for your creativity or business is good growth.Leverage SXSW technology solutions. Such as the SXSW Go app and interactive beacons available this year.We are here to help you. Take advantage of the SXSW staff, who are there to help guide you.Explore, explore, explore. Challenge yourself to meet new people at the event and get out of your comfort zone.So much cool content across the river. The SXSW Gaming Expo at Palmer and other programming at the Hyatt and other venues are available.Visit our exhibitions. The SXSW Job Market and the SXSW Expo, among others.The all-new JW Marriott. A new hotel with lots of programming from the fest.Be flexible and be Zen. You may not get into every panel you want to. Be chill.We want your feedback. Let the festival know what you think.SXSW is a community. It’s a big tent. Get involved and spread the word.Communities thrive on respect. Be nice.The SXSW Community Fund. Five $10,000 grants for 501c3s.We want your SXSW session proposals. Participate in the Panel Picker process, staring in late June.

Here’s some things you may have missed:

My big guide to free stuff you can do at the fest without a badge.

My write-up of the new Radiolab audio program “The Year That Broke Austin” available for free in the Detour app. Seriously, check this out, it’s amazing.

Our first “Statesman Shots” daily dispatch from SXSW. Our first is from the Bates Motel installation. Video + audio! Fun stuff.

All the rest of our coverage is at austin360.com/sxsw and follow my coverage on Twitter. We’ll be posting lots more updates here on Digital Savant from our whole team.