Cowboys and cowgirls, it’s that time of year again; when cattle roam free and votes for SXSW are tallied.
SXSW, standing for South by South West, is a music, film and interactive conference and festival that happens every year in Austin, Texas. The event brings together awesome folks from all over the world to discuss and discover new ideas related to digital culture, multimedia and music. If you’ll be attending, please get in touch as we’d to love to see you there!
SXSW is always an amazing time so we’re excited to be heading down again in 2012. Our panels are now up for voting so if, perchance, we’re covering topics that interest you, please take a moment and add your vote. Your help is much appreciated, as every vote counts! Check out our proposed panel descriptions after the jump.
1) Dancing with Giants: How startups do deals with titans
with Sunir Shah
You’re David, they’re Goliath. They move markets. You just wish they would move those markets in your direction! How do you close that deal? How do you even get them to notice you? This panel pits together three industry giants, Google, Intuit and American Express with two startups, BatchBlue and FreshBooks. Hear how these startups have built great relationships, launched successful partnerships and stayed in the game without being gobbled or squashed.
2) Rockstars or Roadies: Who’s the better employee?
with Corey Reid
When building a team, what should you be looking for — those talented, amazing people that can do it all, need no supervision, and will drive faster than you can keep up… OR those easy-to-get-along-with, everyone-loves-them, pulls-a-team-together types who just do the dirty work no one else wants to do, keep everything humming along, and ‘do what they’re told’? Which should you go for? Do you only need one rockstar? Is the whole distinction fatuous? Will any other panel include the word “fatuous” in its description? The panel will include speakers from Disqus, SimpleGeo, Zappos and Subvert.
3) Startup Marketing: Big results with a small budget
with Saul Colt
Are you struggling to market your startup? Do you have a great idea but aren’t sure how to reach your audience and get customers? Even if you have the greatest product, marketing your product may be more difficult than you think. This workshop will cover the most effective and unusual marketing tactics that work for startups.
4) How’s & Why’s: Executing startup board meetings
with Mic Berman
Starting a company is easy but running one is hard. You may be trying to change the world but your investors are trying to change their bank accounts. Successful CEOs have successful boards. This panel gathers industry veterans, both executives and investors, to discuss what makes the ideal board–and how to deal with boards that are more demanding. Speakers include folks from kontagent, GemVara, and AideRss.
5) How to stunt SXSWi and force people to love you!
with Saul Colt
Cutting through the noise and standing out at SXSWi gets tougher each year. There are Grilled Cheese Trucks, Ice Cream Trucks, Pool Parties, Furry Parties and even exclusive photograph/autograph sessions with Saul Colt. All these ideas where smart and clever but does anyone remember the company that gave them the Free Beer? This talk will cover the stages from inspiration to execution on a great idea that will create real memories for your personal brand/startup at SXSW or any other awesome event.
6) How to make the happy happen: Company Culture 101
Building a culture of happy employees isn’t rocket surgery. You may not always have a pack of smile robots greeting you at the door every day, but you can work with a group of people who don’t dread the Monday morning commute. Employee happiness isn’t about huge budgets or major events. Whether you have the cash for a huge company holiday party with an open bar, or a kickball game at the park down the road, there are a ton of things you can do to make your employees and fellow coworkers happy. Speakers are from Zappos, Rackspace and Points.com.