Archive | March, 2012

5 Key Takeaways from SXSW!

29 Mar

Alas, SXSW has ended, my mother has flown back home, and Ultra is no longer pounding in my head… Now, I’d like to share with you my recap of SXSW! 

Not going to lie, I’m basically copying and pasting what I already wrote for my Firm’s blog post recapping SXSW, but these are my 5 major takeaways from this year’s conference:

  1. Content, content, content!  Have you ever heard the expression, “content is king?” Well this is true now more than ever. Content strategy, creation, and curation were covered in multitude. Creating good content is not an easy task, but thought leaders shared some helpful tips:
    1. Create a content strategy that includes workflow, substance, structure, and governance revolving around your core strategy.
    2. Experiment with different types of content: text, photos, graphics, videos – and be sure that all content is flexible and tailored to your audience and platform with a specific goal to achieve.
    3. Write with a journalist mindset. Content is all about real-time marketing, storytelling, and an editorial point-of-view.
    4. Do more with less. Increase the quality of your content, not quantity. And it’s smart to re-use and re-purpose good content.
    5. Don’t forget to use a little humor.
    6. Is your content compelling to readers? Visible to search engines? Linkable to partners? Shareable through social media? And transferable to mobile devices? Make sure it is!
  2. Social media is here to stay. It’s evolving and becoming even more personalized. Integrate social media efforts into the entire marketing plan, and turn your employees into your online activists. And how do you prove ROI? That’s still a burning question among all the experts… My favorite tips include creating your own value system, benchmarking, and paying attention to the final outcome of your efforts.
  3. Data is no longer boring. Data is now fun, interactive, and visual! All companies have mounds of data that can be interpreted visually to create stunning infographics, interactive charts, and useful, eye-appealing content.
  4. Search engines aren’t what they used to be. How do you improve your company’s Google or Bing ranking? There are many solutions such as creating great content, focusing on the user experience, including meta descriptions, leveraging social media, and much more.
  5. Future technology is really cool and a little creepy. Creating an online, automatic, and personalized alter ego from online data is already possible. Google Plus Your World is changing and personalizing our search results based on our profiles, searches, and friends’ online activity. Augmented reality is soon going to become reality. Instead of revolving around your mobile phone, your phone will revolve around you. And location-based technology will be even more interactive and automatic.

What did you learn at SXSW? Please share in the comments section!

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SXSW – I’m Coming for You! Here’s My Top 10 Tips and Bucket List.

7 Mar

It’s now March 2012 (what the…where did the time go?), and that means March Madness on steroids! It also means it’s time for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival! Although there are three sections to SXSW (interactive, film, music), I will be attending the interactive portion only (for work). This is my second year to the wonderful city of Austin, and hopefully I learned some valuable lessons last year that are applicable to this year.

Things like…

  1. Expect 5 hours of sleep per night (if you’re lucky).
  2. It’s pretty chilly – bring cardigans, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.
  3. You could survive on free food and drinks the entire festival. Seriously.
  4. Sometimes your schedule of sessions relies entirely upon geography – some of the hotels are spread out!
  5. Network, network, network!
  6. Go to some “personal” sessions for yourself – in whatever interests you. You can apply anything to your line of work and industry.
  7. Even though you’re walking around downtown Austin A LOT, you’re also eating A LOT (mmm bring on the BBQ and tex mex)!
  8. Take advantage of the phone charging stations in the Convention Center. You can literally drop off your phone, and they’ll lock it up in a box, charge it, and you can come back whenever to pick it up.
  9. Talk to the people sitting next to you in the sessions. Don’t bury your head in your phone/computer/tablet.
  10. If you don’t like the sessions you’re in, check out the other sessions’ hashtags to see if they’re worthwhile to switch into. Just be careful that its session/room isn’t full. Otherwise, you’ll be left in the hall…
This year, I’ll be conducting a fun Twitter campaign for my Firm – Kaufman, Rossin & Co. Therefore, between March 8-14, I’m asking all of you to tweet @KaufmanRossin and me (@Aubrey_Swanson) why you love accountants with #ILoveAccountants. I’m literally going to wear a bright t-shirt every day at SXSW and approach strangers, asking them for their #ILoveAccountants tweets. I also have some sweet Kaufman, Rossin sleep masks to hand out to some lucky twitterers! Click to learn more about #ILoveAccountants.

I’ve also made a SXSW 2012 bucket list 🙂

  1. Ride a mechanical bull
  2. Eat my weight in brisket
  3. Run 3 miles at least 3 times
  4. Gain at least 100 #ILoveAccountants tweets
  5. Sing karaoke
  6. Late-night chicken and waffle truck run
  7. Take a picture with a CEO or founder of a legit (the average American would recognize) company
  8. Ask a Google employee, “Seriously, what were you guys thinking when you created Google Plus?”
  9. Make it to Gary V‘s #secret_wine_party 😉
  10. Tell a stranger, “Save a horse. Ride a cowboy!”
Have a good SXSW tip or something to add to my bucket list? Leave a comment! If you’re coming to SXSW, email me or tweet me, and let’s meet up!