SXSW by the Photos: B&O’s Austin Adventure

Also by Suzi Owens 

Just this past weekend, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to SXSW. Instead of telling you in words what we were up to, we thought it would be best to show you…

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Making our way to Austin… Suzi came prepared with the proper local footwear.

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We knew we were in the right place once we saw this sign.

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Forget Lyft and Uber – local transportation was best riding on the back of one of these bad boys. However, there was a bit of pedicab traffic…

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The biggest thing to come out of SXSW this year? Definitely Meerkat. Here is Mashable’s very own CEO Pete Cashmore meerkatting… We even heard his marketing team say they received 1,000 viewers watching live. Crazy!

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#SXSWPuppyParty, courtesy of Whistle, DogVacay and iFetch. Took every ounce of willpower not to sneak that little guy home in our carry-ons.

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The busiest location at SXSW had to be the MashableHouse. With Katy Perry’s Super Bowl lion (see above and below) and some other amazing things, it was the most popular house on the block. Even Hulk Hogan stopped by.

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We couldn’t let Pete have all the fun obviously.

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The best ride of the event though, was courtesy of the HootBike. A way to travel, network and had enjoy some fresh air with Owly.

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Psycho fans were in luck as A&E recreated the Bates Motel. A great portrayal of Norman Bates’ thriller series.

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Trying our luck with the Pepsi fortune teller. Hey, at least we got a free Pepsi out of it!

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Also, ever wondered what happened to the pink moustache of Lyft? Guess it needed to evolve, according to CEO Logan Green, who explained the brand shake-up in his keynote with The Wall Street Journal’s Doug Macmillan. Pictured here courtesy of @dmac1 who tweeted, “I ordered Lyft & @logangreen showed up in a Bentley.”

All in all, while we didn’t get any Bentley rides, we had an amazing trip. Spent time with great people and even had a little bit of fun…as you can see.

The Golden Ticket: How to Land a Speaker Slot at Mobile World Congress 2015

Credit: Joseph Francis
Credit: Joseph Francis

Mobile World Congress: It’s the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, which we all know now covers everything from wearable technologies to cars and the future of computing. In fact, the event draws more than 85,000 visitors from 201 countries to Barcelona for four days of flashy product launches, executive presentations and networking after parties. Or put another way, it’s up there with CES as the kind of event that almost every technology company in the world wants to present at.

To help you land a much coveted speaking role at Mobile World Congress 2015 (March 2-5, 2015), we wanted to share the really helpful guidance that the content team at GSMA (the group that puts on MWC) has put together:

1.    Think Bigger than a Speaker Abstract

What: The MWC team doesn’t just rely on speaker abstracts and instead is hosting a series of Research Open DaysThis allows the content team to meet one-on-one with industry executives to get a sense of what is happening, changing, exciting, or scary in the market that will drive the mobile industry over the next year.

Why: If your company has never participated at MWC, this is your chance to get on the content team’s radar and get feedback on your MWC speaking submission (call for papers is June 26 – September 12). They will also gauge what the executive would be like on stage, so consider this a rehearsal for American Idol and you are going in the right direction.

How: They schedule a total of 60 briefings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August, with three slots per day – 10:00 – 11:00, 2:00 – 3:00 & 4:00 – 5:00 [London time]. Register your interest here and you’ll be notified between May 22 and June 5 if you’re selected for a Research Open Day.

2.    Take 360 Degree Approach

What: A regional conference series that takes place in six countries between September and December. It’s highly focused on thought leadership and networking and does not include exhibitions like MWC. The North American event will take place September 22-23 in Atlanta and will focus on connected living and mobile commerce.

Why: Participate in this event to improve your chances of being selected for MWC 2015 and to give the content team a sneak peek at what your exec is like on stage.

How: Submit an idea during call for papers, June 9 – July 25.

3.    Think Beyond the Smartphone

What: There have been two major audience shifts at Mobile World Congress:

  1. As “digital” seeps well beyond telecom into industries like media, advertising, automotive and many others, thought leaders from these industries are increasingly attending MWC.
  2. The conference is attracting a more senior audience (50% C-level) who already know how mobile technology works, but want to know how to integrate it with their business.

Why: To cater for this expanding audience, GSMA is now including more cross-ecosystem participants in the speaking circuit.

How: There’s no one way to skin a cat here and instead, the key thing is to think creatively about how you can tell the most compelling story:

–       Offer a fresh format. One year someone brought robotic dancing bears – they want more of this. Suggest an on stage interview, fireside chat, panel discussion or demonstration.

–       Include an operator as co-speaker if your client is a software, hardware or IT company. This helps the content team better fit you in the program.

–       Focus on answering questions like:

  • How do you build X into financing?
  • How do you integrate X with legacy?
  • What are product strategies going forward for big vendors?

–      Submit multiple executives and multiple ideas. This is encouraged. But cap it at 3.

Want help building your story or securing coveted speaker slots at events like Mobile World Congress? Let us know and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help.