Whenever there is more stuff to do than time to do it in, something inevitably goes wrong. Picking and choosing panels and structuring them around your already busy day is an art at sxsw, and I almost declared myself victorious. Almost. As I scanned my schedule Sunday night for the most interesting-sounding 11am panel on Monday morning, I landed on something called Maker Culture in Digital Marketing. A quick glance at the panel leaders showed me that one guy used to work at Wired Mag and they have worked for publications in the past. To me, this screamed, “HELLO! We are proven content pros and we understand your plight to make content in the digital marketing space because WE’VE BEEN THERE.”
Wrong I was.
The first 10 minutes of the panel included the leaders talking to the audience about science guys who literally make stuff. Think robots, 3-D printers and DIY objects. Okay, so it’s interesting..I’ll give it time. I had heard that it’s wise to choose one panel outside of your industry, but unfortunately when they began the advantages of attending Maker Fair across the country, the guys totally lost me. For 30 minutes I struggled to keep up with their vernacular and the tangents they were going off on to explain building things. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t for me.
A quick Twitter scan told me that the Spotify House had opened for the week and a band was set to play in about 30 minutes. Off I went, so as not to lose a moment of my last day in Austin. The Vitamin String Quartet displayed incredible talent as they covered some current pop songs to the crowd’s delight. It was a total win. The Spotify House had the cool factor too- they had interactive screens in their music room to compete in music trivia quizzes for swag. Always about the swag. I liked that Spotify thought about more than just free stuff though. The innovation music room gave attendees the opportunity to create official Spotify SXSW playlists based on what other people were listening to.
Hayley and I then went to the trade show room for one last jaunt in the Convention Center. We ignored the creeping suspicion that we might actually miss being at the nation’s hub of energy and innovation. After four days, the convention center had been a source of knowledge, conversation and eye-opening experiences. But I digress. We spent time at the NYTimes booth, 3M’s Post-It Idea lounge, an agency meet-up and some other booths that captured our short millenial attention.
Alas, after a quick lunch at Searsucker, it was time for me bid adieu to my time at SXSW Interactive.
Until next year.