There are three certainties in life… death, taxes and the fact that our company, W2O Group, will once again be hosting some awesome events during SXSW Interactive. Unless you live under a rock, you know this is one of the largest interactive conferences on this planet. Over 100,000 of the top digital, social and mobile minds from around the world haling from companies large and small, agencies, startups, etc. come to Austin, TX to network, attend panels and catch up on the latest trends. Many of these attendees are influential bloggers, senior marketing and communications professionals and journalists who report back on who is doing what in the interactive space.
Because a significant number of our clients at W2O Group (WCG, Twist and BrewLife) are now involved with SXSW Interactive, over the last six years we have developed a series of events during SXSW that complement all of the activities that go on during that time. Our signature event, the PreCommerce Summit, takes place on March 12 (Thursday) from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is packed with speakers from well-known brands like H&R Block, Google, Twitter, Verizon, Intel and Bayer. We will also have thought leaders from companies like Techonomy, NBC and Bloomberg providing industry insights. Did we mention that we are honored to have none other than Al Roker, co-anchor of the Today Show, and a special fireside chat between Tech moguls, David Kirkpatrick (author of The Facebook Effect) and Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi (former EVP of printing at Hewlett Packard)?
We are interviewing a number of these speakers on our blog here.
Jon Harris (former head of comms at Hillshire Brands and media personality), will be interviewing Al at our event. You can hear more in our Live from Stubbs interview with Jon here on what he and Al will cover.
This event will be attended by about 400 plus customers and other industry thought leaders. A cocktail reception will follow. The event is complementary, but invite only. If you are interested in attending, please email us at email@example.com. In that email, be sure to provide name, title and company. We will also be live streaming the event via UStream if you can’t physically be there. Registration is open to the public (RSVP here).
We will also host a digital brunch at our (not so) new office located in East Austin. If you like food trucks (hint: Gordoughs will be one), music, cocktails and lost of interesting people, you will enjoy this.
Every SXSW, we do our best to cover “what’s next” in digital. This year, we’re planning to host our first GeekFest on Saturday at The Austonian between 10am – 2pm. We have 12 speakers including Becky Brown, VP of media at Intel and TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope to give 15 minute talks with some time for Q&A every 3-4 talks. We will have no more than 70 people in attendance. This event is being sponsored by Synthesio.
In addition to our PreCommerce Summit (selected talks from last year’s event), Digital Brunch and Geekfest, we will also host our sixth annual Geek-a-Cue Saturday night at the historic Charles Johnson House (on the Colorado River). This is the house MTV uses to host its SXSW Music parties so you know it’s good. We were sad to not host our Geek-a-cue for a fourth time at world famous Franklin’s BBQ, but with their new expansion we simply ran out of room. Not to worry, however, because we are pleased to bring you one of Austin’s newest gems, Terry Blacks. While we won’t pretend anyone can cook brisket like Aaron Franklin… the Black brothers (their grandfather is Terry Black who opened Blacks in Lockhart 83 years ago) come pretty damn close.
Oh, did we mention that we have two AMAZING bands this year as well? For openers, we’ll have Austin favorite, Monte Montgomery. And then for our main act, we are featuring Black Joe Lewis (yes, that Black Joe Lewis that has appeared on Letterman and countless music festivals).
Check out my 2014 wrap up post to get a better flavor of the awesomeness you will experience this year.
Here are eventbrite links/descriptions of the events:
- Thursday, March 12th: Fifth Annual PreCommerce Summit – It will be a series of 10 minute TED-style talks, panels, and fire side chats. Speakers below
- Eventbrite here (password required – email firstname.lastname@example.org to request invite)
- Austin City Music Hall, 208 Nueces St, Austin, TX
- Sessions run 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
- Cocktail Hour from 6:00-7:00PM
- Live stream available for those not able to attend in person is here.
- Al Roker, Co-Anchor/CEO, Today Show/Al Roker Media
- David Kirkpatrick, CEO, Techonomy, author of The Facebook Effect
- Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi, former EVP printing, Hewlett Packard
- Gayle Fuguitt, CEO & President, The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)
- Damon Davis, Director, Health Data Initiative, Chief Technology Office, US Department of Health and Human Services
- Mike Marinello, Head of Global Communications, Bloomberg
- Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairman & CEO, Businesswire
- Jim Weiss, CEO and Chairman, W2O Group
- Ray Kerins, SVP, Head of Communications, Bayer
- Sean George, Co-Founder, President and COO, Invitae
- Jon Harris, Media Personality (and former head of communications for Hillshire Brands).
- Amber Naslund, SVP Marketing, Sysomos
- Michelle Skelding, SVP, Austin Chamber of Commerce
- Kip Knight, President, H&R Block
- Bob Pearson, President, W2O Group and author, PreCommerce
- Jason Rose, SVP Marketing, Datasift
- Daina Middleton, Head of Global Business Marketing, Twitter
- Mason Nelder, Director, Social Media and Digital Strategy, Verizon
- Nithi Vivatrat, CTO, Clarabridge
- Chris Preuss, SVP Communications and Marketing, Delphi
- Mike Fay, VP Global Communications, IBM
- Josh Kampel, President Techonomy
- Jessica Williams, Global Innovation Marketing & Analytics, Visa
- Judith Williams, Global Diversity and Inclusion Programs Manager, Google
- Mike Edelhart, CEO PivotCon Conference
- Chuck Hemann, Head of analytics, Intel.
- Jessica Gioglio, Head of Design Lab, Sprinklr
- Greg Matthews, Managing Director, W2O Group
- Maureen Carlson, President, Good Scout Group
- DeDe DeStefano, Executive Director, Corporate Alliances at MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Shree Dandekar, Chief Product Officer, Dell Inc.
- Friday, March 13th: Digital Brunch (400+ director to CMO level brand marketers/digital/social folks expected)
- RSVP Here (no password required)
- 3000 East Cesar Chavez, Austin
- 10:00 AM – 2 PM
- Food trucks, music, innovative demos, coffee, brunch, and mimosa/Bloody Marys to fuel your first festival day
- Shuttles available from the Stephen F. Austin Hotel starting at 9:45am
- 6th Annual Geek-a-cue: Saturday, March 14th: (800 director to CMO level brand marketers/digital/social folks expected)
As you can imagine, space is limited at these events so please make sure to RSVP soon. And if you do RSVP and decide after that you can’t make it, please be courteous and let us/me know that your slot is available.