Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SXSW 2014 Recap

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Austin, TX as an attendee at SXSW Interactive and let me tell ya, it was the most wonderful adventure. It was a jam-packed few days but I can honestly say that I learned a lot, had a ball of fun and absolutely loved bonding with my team. 

The interactive portion focuses mostly on tech and digital innovation so it was the perfect opportunity for me to nerd out and learn about the new initiatives that other companies and thought-leaders are pioneering in the digital marketing sphere. At one of the sessions, founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie announced the launch of TOMS Roasting Co. and it was quite a memorable experience to have been in the room when he launched this new business venture with such fanfare. As an Arkansan at heart, I was also overjoyed to be in attendance at Chelsea Clinton's keynote address--she was elonquent, composed and completely brilliant. Her commitment to global progress utilizing tech is utterly inspiring and I cannot wait to see what comes next for this smart cookie. Hands-down the best panel I attended all week featured a handful of my favorite editors: Eva Chen (Lucky), Elizabeth Holmes (WSJ), Stella Bugbee (The Cut) and Jane Larkworthy (W magazine). These ladies are the best of the best when it comes to utilizing social media in the editorial world and it was lovely to pick their brain for a bit. Last but not least, it was a delight to hear Lena Dunham's keynote address! The line to get in was frenzied and long but well worth it. This sassy lady was so incredibly intelligent and witty and it's remarkable that she's achieved so much success at such a young age. I came away from the sessions with such admiration for the pioneers in the digital space, and was particularly impressed by how much of an impact women leaders are making in the industry. Hooray!

Let's be real, I also ate real well while I was there. Austin was overflowing with top-rated restaurants and we had quite a few culinary treats during our time there: Mexican-fusion at La Condesa, fancy barbecue at Lambert's and classic Texan fare at Moonshine. Yum! 

I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. It was great to soak in the Austin culture and get inspired by all-things-digital--fingers crossed for next year! :)


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