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SXSW: LIFE’S A BEACH
Like anyone I’m constantly changing the lenses through As a brand experience agency, we collaborate with our
which I view brands and experiences. Expectations—what I clients to help them understand it’s not always wise to try
think an experience is going to be like—are a massively and boil the ocean. At whatever level brands want to get
distorting lens. If I’m expecting something to be great, and
involved, they should do it with strategy and purpose and
it’s merely pretty good, I see it through a lens of
make the most of it. It’s unwise to come to the beach
“disappointing”.
without the right bottle of SPF tanning lotion.
I had high expectations visiting SXSWi for the first time in
2012. I’ve attended scores of massively large-scale global- Robb Trost is Director of Client Services.
sized events in my time, so I felt well equipped to make
assessments of the SXSW experience. I landed and was
reminded I haven’t experienced everything.

Visiting the festival to see what brands were doing was the
equivalent of people watching beach-goers at the first sign
of spring. The spectacle was overwhelming. From the
moment I landed, brands were clamoring to be the first to
greet and welcome me to the beautiful city of Austin. I came
prepared with my SXSW app along with the tech tips-and-
tricks to finding what I needed while visiting. Even on my
smartphone, brands were sneaking their way into the titles
of sessions. It was apparent brands were desperately trying
to be everything to everyone, everywhere.

Chevy did a great job at activating their sponsorship by
tying their objectives to what attendees need; power stations
everywhere for their electronics and free transportation in
and around Austin. On the other hand, I knew that Miller
Lite was a title sponsor, but I saw very little on-the-ground or
technology-inclusion from their activation. And AMEX’s Jay-
Z concert was amazing, but under-promoted (really).

SXSW: LIFE’S A BEACH
Like anyone I’m constantly changing the lenses through As a brand experience agency, we collaborate with our
which I view brands and experiences. Expectations—what I clients to help them understand it’s not always wise to try
think an experience is going to be like—are a massively and boil the ocean. At whatever level brands want to get
distorting lens. If I’m expecting something to be great, and
involved, they should do it with strategy and purpose and
it’s merely pretty good, I see it through a lens of
make the most of it. It’s unwise to come to the beach
“disappointing”.
without the right bottle of SPF tanning lotion.
I had high expectations visiting SXSWi for the first time in
2012. I’ve attended scores of massively large-scale global- Robb Trost is Director of Client Services.
sized events in my time, so I felt well equipped to make
assessments of the SXSW experience. I landed and was
reminded I haven’t experienced everything.

Visiting the festival to see what brands were doing was the
equivalent of people watching beach-goers at the first sign
of spring. The spectacle was overwhelming. From the
moment I landed, brands were clamoring to be the first to
greet and welcome me to the beautiful city of Austin. I came
prepared with my SXSW app along with the tech tips-and-
tricks to finding what I needed while visiting. Even on my
smartphone, brands were sneaking their way into the titles
of sessions. It was apparent brands were desperately trying
to be everything to everyone, everywhere.

Chevy did a great job at activating their sponsorship by
tying their objectives to what attendees need; power stations
everywhere for their electronics and free transportation in
and around Austin. On the other hand, I knew that Miller
Lite was a title sponsor, but I saw very little on-the-ground or
technology-inclusion from their activation. And AMEX’s Jay-
Z concert was amazing, but under-promoted (really).

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