By Caroline Henley

March 6th, 2015

Are you heading to South by Southwest this year? Falcon will be, and we want to meet you!

The vast array of panels can be pretty daunting at first glance. We went through the schedule and picked out the most relevant and exciting sessions for our industry. Dennis Green-Lieber, our Head of Innovation and Partnerships, Helle Tyllesen, Head of Customer Strategy, Cosmin Almajanu, Partnerships Manager, and me, Caroline Henley, Social Media Manager, list our respective can’t-miss events.

And if you’ll also be in Austin, reach out to us on Twitter at our handles listed below–we’d love to meet up!

For the big data enthusiasts
sxsw panelsDennis, our Head of Innovation and Partnerships, loves big data and thinking ahead to the future of social analytics. Here are his recommendations:

While there are a ton of panels on content marketing and how to manage social, in my point of view, the key to SXSW is hunting ideas on how to unlock big data. I’ll be mainly focused on the big data topics.      

“This Is Your Brain on Visual Data” is right up my alley. “In this session discover the secrets of how and why humans have such an incredible grasp of visual data, see what happens when the brain processes data visually and learn how visualizing data is empowering humans around the planet to make sense of their data and change the world.” Visual data allows the brain to digest data more easily. As a design-focused company, this makes total sense to us–we’re always looking for the best ways to merge design and data.

I can’t decide between “Using Data to Create Rich User Experiences” and “How Big Data Converts Fans into Customers,” both happening at the same time on the first day. The first, presented by Team Detroit, will talk about data trails in the customer journey. I think this is going to create HUGE value for the companies that take it on. In the other, they’re talking about using data in your real-time marketing to reach the most relevant prospective customers.

On Saturday, “Consumer Data: The Good, The Bad, The Not-So-Ugly,” TiVo will talk about how we can use data for good–to help the end user. They’ll discuss “customization, predictive content and, ultimately, a killer, beautifully designed user experience.” Maybe Big Data isn’t so sinister after all?

Last but not least for big data: Sunday’s “Data Visualization: Marketing Skill of the Future.” This workshop leads you through selecting the right data for you to visualize, selecting how to visualize it, and how to craft a compelling story around it. (Note: this one requires advance signup.) This could be helpful for any marketer, and it’s very hands-on.

I can’t wait to feed off all the knowledge sharing! See you there.

SXSW_Panel-picks-Dennis-Headshot-400x400-FunDennis Green-Lieber, Head of Innovation and Partnerships

Contact Dennis on Twitter @greenlieber


 Big Data Picks:

Using Data to Create Rich User Experiences Friday, March 13th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Trinity Hall, 311 E. 5th Street

How Big Data Converts Fans into Customers Friday, March 13th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, ACL Live, 310 W. 2nd Street

This Is Your Brain on Visual Data Saturday, March 14th, 11:30am – 11:45am, Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

Consumer Data: The Good, The Bad, The Not-So-Ugly Saturday, March 14th, 5pm – 6pm, Salon D, 110 E. 2nd Street

Data Visualization: Marketing Skill of the Future (Workshop, advance signup required) Sunday, March 13th, 11am – 3:30pm, JW Marriott Room 310-311, 110 E. 2nd Street

For strategists ready to up their social game
sxsw panelsHelle, Head of Customer Strategy, will be paying special attention to the latest and greatest in social marketing trends and best practices. She says:

The session “Are Brands Sabotaging Their Own Content?” led by representatives from Target, The New York Times, and agency Federated Media, is sure to be interesting. I’m always looking for practical recommendations, and this panel will aim to talk about setting up a collaborative content team–I’m looking forward to hearing how they have all done it in-house.

The panel “Snackability Effect: A New Norm for Brand Content,” hosted by Lincoln, is introducing this idea of producing content in a “mosaic mindset.” Why not brush up on new ideas on luxury strategy straight from a luxury brand? “The best way is to create a range of content that is made up of interesting, authentic, and consistent material. That way, people can self-select the content that they enjoy to build their very own personal mosaic.”

Social Media Playbook: Activating Fans on Gameday” will be a must on Saturday for anyone involved in real-time marketing and the second screen. I will be at Deeplocal’s “Culture Clash: When Marketing and Product Converge” panel on Sunday, if only to hear more about Google’s plan to invest in “moonshots”!

Altimeter Group’s “Creating a Digital Engagement Strategy for Leaders” also looks promising. “We’ll look at how leaders can use technology to listen, share, and engage with employees and customers, at scale.” Having management embrace this is an absolutely crucial step for companies to modernize and become more social. I’m not missing this one.

If I have the time, I’m hoping to take advantage of the ‘convergence day’ (where Interactive pass holders are encouraged to check out panels from Music or Film) and attend “Boyhood Post-Production: 13th Year of a 12 Year Movie.” What’s a trip to Austin without Richard Linklater?

Here’s one more for Monday–I’ll be at “Apple, Marilyn, and The Pope: Why Brands Need Tension” for what looks to be a pretty fascinating talk on the idea that conflict is contagious.

Let me know which strategy sessions you’ll be attending. I’d love to say hi and swap ideas throughout the week.

SXSW_Panel-picks-Helle-Headshot-400x400-FunHelle Tyllesen, Head of Customer Strategy

Contact Helle on Twitter @hellety


Strategy Picks:

Snackability Effect: A New Norm for Brand Content Friday, March 13th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Palm Door on Sixth’s Main Stage, 508 E. 6th St.

Creating a Digital Engagement Strategy for Leaders Saturday, March 14th, 11am – 12:30pm, JW Marriott, Salon 5-6, 110 E. 2nd St.

Social Media Playbook: Activating Fans on Gameday Saturday, March 14th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Four Seasons, Ballroom AB, San Jacinto Blvd.

Are Brands Sabotaging Their Own Content? Saturday, March 14th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Hyatt Regency Austin, Hill Country ABCD, 208 Barton Springs Rd.  

Culture Clash: When Marketing and Product Converge Sunday, March 15th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Hyatt Regency Austin, Hill Country ABCD, 208 Barton Springs Rd. 

Apple, Marilyn, and The Pope: Why Brands Need Tension Monday, March 16th, 5pm – 6pm, Hyatt Regency Austin, Zilker Ballroom 3, 208 Barton Springs Rd.

For tech lovers searching for the next big thing
sxsw panelsCosmin, our Partnerships Manager, is always looking for the next big advancements in social, and looking for ways to incorporate new technology to make our tool more powerful. Here are the panels he’s flagged:

I’m super excited about “All Signs Point to Yes: Predictive Is Here.” The panel promises to talk about using apps to act on predictive analytics: “Look beyond historical data and bring in external data points to make smart decisions and blow past your competition by operating at peak efficiency.”

I’m also going to check out “Contextual Applications: The Next Wave.” Sensors and smart objects are going to create a whole new world for marketers. It’s going to make marketing more actionable, and we want to be ahead of the game.

This looks cool on Monday: “Breaking the Fourth Wall: Audience Participation in the Digital Age.” There is a ton of fun stuff we could do with Social TV and merging the experience between devices.  

On Tuesday, I’m going to check out “Content Creation in the Cloud,” which is about using the conveniency of the cloud to enhance the creative process. At Falcon that’s always top of mind–how the people who use our tool can improve their content and overall efficiency online by leaning on our UX and various features. Hopefully I’ll bring back some great ideas from this one.

SXSW_Panel-picks-Cosmin-Headshot-400x400-FunCosmin Almajanu, Partnerships Manager

Contact Cosmin on Twitter @CosminAlmajanu


Future of Tech Picks:

All Signs Point to Yes: Predictive Is Here Saturday, March 14th, 11am – 12pm, Hyatt Regency Austin, Hill Country ABCD, 208 Barton Springs Rd.

Contextual Applications: The Next Wave Saturday, March 14th, 11:45am – 12pm, Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

Breaking the Fourth Wall: Audience Participation in the Digital Age Monday March 16th, 11am – 12pm, Four Seasons, San Jacinto, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Content Creation in the Cloud Tuesday, March 17th, 2pm – 3pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 15.

For social marketers into trends and culture
sxsw panelsI’m looking forward to hearing Biz Stone talk about “Creativity and Redefining Success.” The idea of what a successful career path looks like is changing, and hopefully innovation and creativity will win out. I’m very curious to hear the Twitter co-founder’s take on the current landscape.

I’m going to have to decide between Biz and Buzzfeed, because at exactly the same time Buzzfeed is putting on “The Future of Distributed Media,” about the creative processes behind creating and distributing content across the various social networks.

On Sunday’s “Booming Media Brands Hold Onto Identity,” Mashable and AdAge will discuss how to fuel a media brand on digital. Then there’s MediaPost’s “How Can Mobile Advertising Not Suck,” also on Sunday. Weren’t we supposed to be moving away from banner ads? Kraft and Coca-Cola will also be on hand to talk about how we can create more compelling mobile ad experiences.

I’m a Community fan and I’m also interested in the new forms of distribution for TV, film and video–so I will definitely be at “The Cast of Community on Moving to Digital.”

On Monday, I won’t miss “Hamburger Helper is my Bae: Weird Brand Twitter.” I’m a big fan of Buzzfeed’s Katie Notopoulos, weird Twitter, and following the interesting choices that some brands are making in their social media strategies. Her panel reads: “Why am I laughing at a frozen pizza? I buy the frozen pizza, do I have to be its friend, too? On the other hand, brands have always tried to ape the memes and language of pop culture to seem more “relatable.” Is this latest iteration so wrong?” This sounds awesome!

SXSW_Panel-picks-Caroline-Headshot-400x400-FunCaroline Henley, Social Media Manager

Contact Caroline on Twitter @crlnhnly


Social Trends and Culture Picks:

Creativity and Redefining Success Saturday, March 14th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5

The Future of Distributed Media Saturday, March 14th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 12AB

How Can Mobile Advertising Not Suck Saturday, March 14th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Sheraton Austin, Capitol Ballroom, 701 E. 11th St.

Booming Media Brands Hold Onto Identity Sunday, March 15th, 9:30am – 10:30am, Hyatt Regency Austin, Texas Ballroom 2 – 3, 208 Barton Springs Rd.

The Cast of Community on Moving to Digital Sunday, March 15th, 11am – 12pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABCD

Hamburger Helper is my Bae: Weird Brand Twitter Monday, March 16th, 5pm – 6pm, Austin Convention Center, Next Stage

We hope to see you at South by Southwest!


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