As the sun sets on this the 25th anniversary of SxSWi, I find myself happy to be home, inspired by the content, intrigued by all the new apps and technologies, and already missing the great conversations and new friendships that were forged. While I don’t want this to be another wrap up of SxSWi post I do feel compelled to share a few takeaways that stand out for me. And as I prepare for next year (or any conference for that matter) these are the things I’ll keep in mind.
Passion: The presentations and panels that were the most memorable to me were the ones where the presenter’s had a strong vision and their passion was contagious.
Guy Kawasaki’s presentation on his new book Enchanted: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Bodies was in my top five. While the content is fantastic, it was Guy’s delivery that inspired me. His personal stories accentuated each section of the presentation. I had already read the book and loved it but debated about attending the talk and if I had missed it – it would have been my loss. Check out OglivyNotes Visual
Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentation on his new book The Thank You Economy was another one in my top five. We all know that Gary has an extremely engaging style – yet when he talks about this book it’s clear that he is passionate about building relationships, doing something that matters… really. Finally, never underestimate the power of a thank you especially in social media and as a brand. OgilvyNotes Visual
People: Man there are lots of them there. At times you can get caught in a crowd and find yourself having to follow the crowd to keep from getting trampled. But, it’s also a great time to connect with the friends you have made online. SxSWi also presents wonderful opportunities to make new and meaningful connections, to have conversations about the content. I think this year more than any other year I heard people with without badges talking about the value of just being present.
And finally, on a personal note, I want to thank all of the kind people who attended the session Shine a Light to Build Your Brand that Jenny DeVaughn and I co-chaired. When we first came up with the idea for this panel it was based on our passion to encourage people to join the pay it forward movement, we had no idea that it would resonate the way it has. We are so grateful for the active participation, the kind tweets, and the folks who have reached out to us. And to those of you who have started to shine a light and pay it forward thank you for sharing your stories. If you have a story you would like to share please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear it and even add it to the collection of stories we are building.