Several Daytonians are headed for adventure this March in Austin, Texas. We’re going to the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSW), one of the biggest music, film, and interactive design conferences in the country. If you’re into web design, development, social media, or mobile technology, SXSW is an exhilirating experience.
Last year, I attended and immersed myself in a buzz of information – all the latest interactive technology and trends. At SXSW, you never stop learning. I reveled in this culture where my fellow attendees, some of the brightest in the industry, were just as passionate about design and interactivity as I am.
This year, I’m excited to join the roster of SXSW speakers, representing the team at Real Art. On Friday, I will speak on a panel called It’s Alive: Interactive Machines that Captivate, along with fellow Daytonians Justin Bayer, founder of WelcometoCollege.com, and Arundi Venkayya Cox, editor of the Dayton B2B. Joining us are two accomplished creatives, Nathan Martin from Deep Local, and FK Funderburke from Sapient Nitro. We will each present our projects that mash together digital media with physical machines, creating completely new types of experiences for people. For example, at Real Art, we built the world’s largest arcade claw game and invited the world to play over the internet. Arundi, our moderator, will lead our discussion on why these projects have been so successful for brands, the steps involved in a project like these, and what’s coming in the future for this interactive niche.
During the rest of the conference, I’ll gather as much information and inspiration as I can. The worlds of interactive design and social media move very quickly, so SXSW has a lot of ground to cover. With the SXSW Accelerator series, attendees can hear from the founders of new sites and apps, some of which haven’t even been launched yet. Last year, a few hot topics were the metrics and ROI of social media, geolocation apps, mobile payments, and augmented reality. This year, I’m hoping to hear about more things that haven’t even hit the major blogs yet. With increased smartphone usage and the mainstream expansion of social networks, there’s a lot of magic on the horizon.
Several other Dayton interactive developers are attending, this year, and Rob Tarr from Dayton firm Sparkbox will also be speaking. In addition, I’ll get to watch Dayton band The Motel Beds perform in a showcase. (I should mention that I’m especially excited for this since my husband, Tod Weidner is their bass player). The mix of music, film, and interactive gives SXSW a unique, creative energy.