South x Southwest
SXSW is known to many as the proverbial Horn of Plenty and/or Land of Opportunity. Over the last 32 years Austin, TX in March has grown to become a huge place of opportunity for musicians, technologists, filmmakers & gamers to come, meet others of their ilk and see what is on the horizon in their respective industries. Not to mention setting Austin up to be the next Silicon Valley in the eyes of many.
What started as a DIY music festival has morphed into a fertile ecosystem that prides itself on showing off the top innovations in a diverse genre of industries as well as a cultural hodge-podge of what’s hot. 2019 was certainly no exception to the rule.
Pixilated x SXSW 2019
SXSW 2019 was the second year Pixilated decamped to Austin, TX to learn about what's hot and relevant in the industry, make connections with potential partners and allow us to share more about Pixilated and our photo booth rentals.
While we've always benefited and built our grassroots strategy around leveraging relationships for exposure in event ecosystems, we also had client activations, speaking engagements and thought leadership on the brain; and on the schedule.
SXSW 2019 was stop #2 on The Agora Companies x PixiCloud project. While we've been working to build this project out over the last few months, we hadn't really gone for a proper test drive until Traffic & Conversion 2019 in San Diego a few weeks ago.
While we're still reading the data and coming to conclusions on the immediate impact and much of the long term value will still need to reveal itself, the project has by all accounts been a huge success. Key indicators point to a significant number of talent applicants, the intended target, but also exposed an opportunity to build out a unanticipated funnel for partnerships.
Perhaps most importantly, the first two events have given us ample insight into how we can continue to develop products that enrich the experience for candidates interfacing with The Agora Companies as well as continue to contribute value and clarity to the bottom line.
One of our greatest goals when we work closely with our clients is to contribute value to their bottom line and ensure we’re adding value to the relationship. While many companies are happy to excel in what they were initially brought on to accomplish we see our mission as being a long-term partner tasked with finding new and exciting ways to improve the recipe.
A partnership that operates under that guise necessitates trust and commitment so we can foster a close working relationship with great communication. As long as we have those in place we can continue to unearth new and exciting opportunities and strategies to help them be their best!
We were lucky to have a chance to place a PixiTab Plus photo booth with our partners at Convectium for their activation in the SXSW Cannabusiness track. We've been working with some clients in cannabis dispensaries over the last year but it's becoming increasingly obvious the big user groups for our technology in the cannabis space will be through brands.
As emerging brands are tasked with bringing their voices to life, capturing the attention of the market and trying to gain a competitive edge to secure their share; 1st party user data should be the bedrock of all strategies and campaigns.
The companies we'll see persevere through the Cannabis brand wars, and frankly all brands in general, will be deploying incredible experiences in an organized fashion and allowing the data they collect to tell the story and sharpen their knives.
Picture Perfect Lead Generation
The highlight of SXSW 2019 for us was by far our official SXSW panel at The Capital Factory. The talk, titled Picture Perfect Lead Generation, focused on the customizations and strategies we've been developing and rolling out for The Agora Companies.
The panel, filled out by 14 West Director of Communications, Allison Benson O'Brien, Pixilated CEO Nicolas China and Pixilated CVO Patrick Rife focused on the work we've been doing together as a way to outline how businesses are using PixiCloud to build creative & innovative lead capture solutions.
We've been developing an innovative lead capture strategy to help with talent acquisition for The Agora Companies throughout their tradeshow & expo footprint. At top value for Agora are high quality, 1st party data they can map all the way through their funnel to help verify ROI for total spend as well as improve the speed and cadence at which the candidates move through their funnel.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go (or went)
Of course, no trip to Austin for SXSW is complete without plunging into the maelstrom that is brand activations, experiences and ideas. This year was no different.
Whether it was gliding on a custom Snapchat ghost swing at the Santa Monica social behemoths #SnapHouse (their first SX showing in many years,) or panel discussions around how Eventbrite and other #musictech startups are changing the way music events and the industry at large are maturing, one thing was constant in my mind: How are these business giants measuring their experience?
Sadly, and I'm certainly not pointing any fingers, more often than not these strategies, at least from the outside looking in, seemed to come up short. Obviously, that's an assessment that plays well with what we're building but is also troublesome to consider.
I made the mistake of assuming that by 2019 competitive brands would have had a greater “Come to Jesus” moment and really upped their game in terms of event data. Herein lies the greatest takeaway of SXSW2019 for me; we’re building something of value in PixiCloud!
Although big brands may know their strategy, tools and KPIs need to be stronger, more efficient and better aligned, the reality is that takes a lot of work, vision and expertise. The challenge at hand, at least for Pixilated, is developing a strong enough product with enough room to stretch out and customize to meet our clients needs.
That’s a Wrap!
There's so much that can be said and deduced from a juggernaut event ecosystem like SXSW. Personally I find it to be an enthralling landmark on the annual calendar where I can fast track conversations, get up to speed on big things I may have overlooked and immerse myself in where the industry conversation is at the moment.
#SXSW2020? I'm all in; and I'm bringing a photo booth.