SXSW Day 1

originally posted on Concept Hub

Yesterday I made the trip to Austin. The day started off at Hartsfield-Atlanta Airport where I ran into friends that were on the same flight.

By the time I arrived in Austin, checked in to the hotel, caught the shuttle to the convention center and received my badge, it was just after 2:00.

I wandered into a collaborative talk about Corporate Social Good which set the tone for me that this is going to be a great conference. The most thought provoking experience that was shared in that talk was related to a corporation that focused their social good efforts in local communities. And, as opposed to doing the good, they decided to casually reward the social good that their neighbors were involved with. For example a man was spotted shoveling snow from a neighbors drive way. The corporation sent a thank you card with a $100 gift card.

It was not a big splash complete with a PR and Advertising campaign, but more of little water droplets of good that had extending ripple effects.

The next talk that I planned on attending was called Can You Trust Me? The description looked great:

It ‘s no secret that it’s been a tough time for some of the world’s most trusted brands – BP, Google and Facebook are just a few of the companies that have been recent victims of brand erosion.

The talk was to be led by an expert in brand building. He was a no show. Another attendee decided to lead the talk, admitting that she was not sure what the description of the talk was.

The events that followed was a great example of the expected take aways from the talk that never happened.

  1. Brands need to be involved in the conversation. When disaster strikes or rumors rear their ugly heads, people will gather to hear what the brand has to say.
  2. It will not take long for people to get impatient and any trust they have in the brand will begin to erode.
  3. Someone else will fill the void and it will not be a spokesperson that the brand would welcome, for example:

I finished the day off with a wonderful dinner and drinks catching up with Michelle Batten who moved from ATL to Chicago last year. After a couple of Margaritas, I was done. No kick off parties for me.

Looking forward to catching some great talks today, and perhaps I will catch a party or two.

Related articles