That’s a wrap! SXSW Interactive came and went. We had an incredible time networking with the greatest minds in innovation and marketing, experiencing the results of incredible event planning, and seeing new social media products and features launch before our eyes.
We’ve rounded up a few highlights of our favorite highlights from Monday and Tuesday’s great panels.
Executive creative director and co-founder of Refinery29, Piera Gelardi, turned her largescale creativity into a reality with the media powerhouse. The brand that started 11 years ago as a site to feature independent NY designers, evolved into a women’s lifestyle outlet with a massive following. Piera Gelardi’s talk on creativity let people know that fear shouldn’t hold them back and being creative isn’t always the easy path.
• Friction Creates Sparks: You might be onto a big creative accomplishment, but getting their can feel like a hurdle. Where there is struggle, there is typically a silver lining. In Piera’s words, “combat the frustration with imagination.”
• Let Your Card Down: Piera invites employees into her creative office space for frequent brainstorms. Before beginning, each employee has to shake it out and participate in a silly chant. This is Piera’s way of putting everyone on the same playing field and helping them lower their guard.
• Create Your Conditions for Creativity: Piera recommended that we need to create our ultimate creativity environment to feel successful in a brainstorm. Decorate your office, set the mood and invite the people who you find yourself being the most creative with.
• No Idea is a Bad Idea: Piera keeps a bedazzled buzzer in her office so that people can be “buzzed” as soon as they verbally begin to doubt themselves or start to say that something “can’t” be done. Negativity gets a big ole’ buzz at the Refinery 29 office.
Shopping and the Sacred Social Space:
Retailers are increasingly turning to social platforms to reach audience. As marketers, we know there is a whole lot of noise in the social space. People often reject this social space and want it to feel personal. E-commerce experts at eBay, Facebook, Imgur and Flipboard chimed in on how to continue to innovate in the social advertising space while building true connections to customers:
• Brands on Facebook are beginning to make ads fit the aesthetic of the people they are targeting
• Facebook and Flipboard aim to cater the newsfeed to the user, using specific data they’ve gathered through interactions. You’ll notice on Facebook you can see why a specific ad is being served to you—there’s highly specific targeting and communications need to feel authentic to the person you are reaching.
• Imgur, unlike other social platforms, have one unified feed, and guess what! People LOVE it. Imgur users say that the single feed makes them feel unified and together as a single audience. If you meet a friend on Imgur, chances are you’ll have shared and consumed the media in similar ways that connect you to each other.
SXSW Social Good Hub
For the first time, SXSW launched a Social Good Hub for fellow do-gooders to gather at. As a big fan of charity, I couldn’t pass up the experience and made a beeline for the hub and its workshop on Empathy in Innovation.
The most impressive parts of the Hub, outside of its sessions at Techspace Austin, were the internal activations. As soon as you walk in, a tiny glass house welcomes you. Visitors were asked to write down songs that give them hope and to write a positive postcard to a stranger to spread the message of the Plus 1 Organization. I also was able to contribute to a massive U.S. map with a sticky note about the change I wanted to see in the world, specifically in Houston. Only positive vibes were welcomed, and we weren’t complaining.
Hulu’s Austin Takeover
If you walked through the streets of Austin this week, there’s a good chance you came across a troop of women in long red dress and bonnets. This might have looked like a peculiar scene, but if you’re an avid reader, you may have noted that the “Eyes” were watching. Hulu’s much-anticipated series, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” took over SXSW in the form of deadpan actresses donning a red uniform.
Not familiar with “The Handmaid’s Tale”? Well, Hulu wanted to make sure everyone was by the end of Interactive. Margaret Atwood’s famous novel depicts a world in which the government is thrown over, and women lose their rights. When SXSW goers would approach the dressed-up characters, they’d be greeted with deadpan responses, but once you murmured a line from the book you would be told you were part of the “resistance” and given a tattoo.
Having both read the book, Marshall and I were well equipped to surprise the handmaids with our literary chops. After getting our tattoos, we learned that Nylon, Twitter, and Hulu were throwing a party to celebrate “The Handmaid’s Tale” premiere and the rest was history. We attended the party and even got to see Lizzo perform.
In our opinion, Hulu spread word of the party in a unique way that soon became the talk of the town.
It’s been one wild week. We hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride. We can’t wait to see what next year’s SXSW brings!
© 2016 Integrate Agency