SXSW: Let’s Face It, We Really Just Go for the Tacos

As our team practices their y’alls, they’ve also taken a look at what they are most looking forward to at the annual interactive event.

Ricardo Salema | Chief Creative Officer

This is my first time at SXSW, and so I’m a bit of a newbie to the whole experience, but  I’m going into this with an open mind. There are those among us who think the forum has lost its way a bit. Perhaps it’s an effort straining under its own weight? Like the industry itself, innovation and evolution seem to be constantly on the cusp of upending everything we know – every moment of every day. Keeping up with that can’t be easy.

Besides getting the best taste of the overall experience itself, I’m excited to dive into Retail and Style since a lot of the work we do relates directly to those topics. It will be exciting to see some of the most forward-thinking aspects of these industries in sessions and exhibitions. I’m more convinced every day that these, and other aspects of interactive or digital marketing, are intrinsically bound with experiences and business goals. Let’s see if we can find some more evidence to prove it.

Leigh Christie | Director, NowLab Americas

In 2015 I gave a talk called “Art vs Purpose: Innovation in Marketing” at SXSW. That year it was clear that VR/AR was heating up fast and home-use 3d printers were still cool.  It’s crazy how fast things change. Many things I was excited about in 2015 are barely on the radar anymore. That said, there is plenty to get hyped up about this year!

Here’s a list of stuff I’m excited for this year: artificial intelligence panels, self driving cars, Game of Thrones experience, Microsoft Hololens, Bose AR Audio Sunglasses, art installations, talks about mindfulness, electric scooter chaos, clandestine wearables, 5G-related tech, electric cars, Alexa and Google Assistant related projects.

David Bresnahan | Engagement Director

This will also be my first time attending SXSW and I’m excited to learn and see some of the latest trends and disruptors across financial services and healthcare — some events I already have on my radar include, “Healthcare’s Digital Disruptors: Hope vs. Hype” and “FinTech’s Achilles Heel: Reaching the Underserved.”  Because these two industries are relative laggards regarding innovation in comparison to industries such as Retails and Travel/Hospitality, it will be interesting to hear how leaders in this space view the future, where they plan to invest time and money and the potential affects these new innovations will have on our lives.

Although I will be focused primarily on healthcare , I am also selfishly looking forward to some of those “out-there” events, such as ‘Cat-repreneurs’ and experiential storytelling events. Storytelling has always been one of the most important parts of my job and I hope these types of events will provide new insights in how to better position ourselves and communicate with potential clients. As more and more traditional agencies and outside competition (e.g. consulting companies) take up market share in our industry, it will be important to learn new ways to explain our value proposition to our clients in order to differentiate ourselves from the field.

Stay tuned throughout the weekend for updates from our on the ground team!