Are you going to SXSW? Come and see my panel!

If you’re reading this on the homepage of my blog and not Google Reader or an RSS feed, you’ll notice the SXSW Interactive speaker badge on the right. Yes, it’s that time of year when the geeks of the world migrate en masse to Austin, Texas. A few of us from work are going this week as well. I’m moderating a panel called ‘The Last of the Launch-and-Leave ‘Ems’ – there’s more information below (re-posted from the Made by Many blog). If you’d like to find out what’s going on there, follow @madebymany on Twitter, and I’m @anjali28:

So this week is the beginning of the week-long party conference that is SXSW Interactive. Austin is going to be submerged with geeks from across the globe, including, of course, some of us from Made by Many. A lot of tequila will be drunk, and a lot of interesting conversations with people we otherwise only know on Twitter will be had (I anticipate ‘you look nothing like your avatar’ and ‘you look exactly like your avatar’ being oft-used phrases!).

Last year was a most overwhelming (positive) experience, it being the first time a lot of us were heading there. We were excited much before we left – some of you may remember our Twitter-powered Made by Many people-tracker homepage which we created specially for the event.

The excitement levels are still as high as ever, and this time we’ve got something else we’ve created just for SXSW up our sleeves: the Hollergram iPad app. You’ll soon hear more about how we went about building it and our thought process behind it, so watch this space.

One of the other things we’re really looking forward to this time though, is our very own panel.  We’ve got a talented and opinionated bunch of people in Mel Exon, (managing partner and co-founder of BBH Labs), Peter Parkes, (social media lead at Skype), and Conrad Lisco (mobile and emerging platforms lead at R/GA New York) on a panel to discuss a topic which comes up in discussions often at Made by Many: the ongoing shift in advertising and marketing from one-off campaigns to more valuable and meaningful communities and platforms, and what that means for agencies and clients.

It’s not an easy subject to delve into – everyone and their brother has something to say. Traditional advertising folk are likely to have the view that campaigns are the wind that feeds a brand’s success, while at Made by Many, we’re of the opinion that building platforms of value to the user are really what it’s all about. But what does the client really think? And is it practical to think that communities and platforms are the way of the future for brands? Where do community management and a propagation strategy come in?

These are just some of the questions we will attempt to tackle during the panel discussion. Are there things you’d specifically like to see us discuss? If so, leave us a note in the comments and we’ll do our best to cover it if we can in the one hour we have.

The panel session is at 3.30pm on Monday March 14th in Ballroom F at the Austin Convention Center – it promises to be interesting, as our panelists cover a cross-section of traditional and digital, agency and client-side. Mark it in your calendars if you’re heading SXSW-wards – we’ll see you there.

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