Each year at SXSW, we’re amazed at the outrageous activations and inspiring panels. Our social media account executives, Marshall and Jillian, are scouting out the best panels and experiences happening in Austin this week. We’re bringing you daily updates and sharing a look inside the SXSW phenomenon. Read highlights from their first day.


From the moment we walked in, SXSW demanded and captured our attention. Literally infiltrating our digital space, we were airdropped a photo as soon as we walked in the Austin Convention Center - the name was “SXSW,” and it was a flyer that instructed us to text a number for access to a party. We didn't take them up on the offer, but it was instructive as a way to open up our mind to all the different ways that we can reach people on their devices. The lesson? Sometimes we may need to do something with a bit of a jolt to break through all the noise!


We also enjoyed hitting the lounge at Spredfast, a social media monitoring program, and seeing all their creative activations. From a 360 video that you’d typically see on awards show red carpets to a milkshake bar, seemingly every turn had something new to catch the eye and spark the imagination.



The most immediately relevant panel that I (Marshall) attended on Friday was Fierce Conversations: Succeeding at Work and In Life, a talk by author and leadership architect Susan Scott. After describing her work with startups and Fortune 100 companies alike, she declared, “The next frontier for exponential growth for organizations lies in the area of human connectivity. If you want to be a great leader, you must have the capacity to connect.”


To do that, leaders must go below the surface and get real. Our value in meetings is to tell people what they aren't seeing and invite others to influence you. The goal should be to leave changed. In order to do this, she gave these four helpful steps.


1. Interrogate reality - no plan survives its collision with reality

2. Provoke learning - leaders cannot do all the talking

3. Tackle and resolve tough challenges

4. Enrich relationships



Jillian ventured to the Girl’s Lounge, a female-focused pop-up that is pushing for equal rights in the workplace, where the room was filled with inspiration. The tables were covered in feminist manifestos and copies of “#Girlboss”. Women were able to get a little pampered, take a professional headshot and contribute to a wall of empowering “Workplace Wishes.” Fidji Simo, Director of Product at Facebook, was then interviewed by Melissa Bell, publisher of Vox. The topics spoken about in the Girl’s Lounge is were reminiscent of the themes in Fierce Conversations.


Day one at SXSW taught us the power of experiential marketing and not just breaking the bubble to gain people’s attention, but to engage them with community. Stay tuned for our day two adventures! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat (@integrateteam).


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