Bring on the Content at SXSW 2012!

The guts of this post were cross-posted from colleague, Meredith Owen’s, fabulous write up on the WCG blog. Big thanks to her for doing the heavy lifting on this.

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s that time of year again. Yes the time where all of your social media friends flood your Twitter stream and Facebook walls with pleas to vote for this panel or that panel at the grand daddy of all digital/social media conferences, South by Southwest (SXSW). While some people look at this as a nuisance, I take it as an opportunity to look at trends in the space. I also like to keep my eye out for new faces and voices in the world of digital/social.

To that end, a number of my colleagues at WCG have submitted panels this year. All of them look great on paper and having listened to most of them present, I can tell you that it would be worth your while to vote any/all of them through. I’ve also included my panel in the mix. In addition to the one I’ve submitted below, I am also lucky enough to be in the running with friends, Tim Walker, Kate Brodock and Troy Nalls for a panel titled, Down in Front! How to Control Bad Fans. While SXSW only allows panelists to sit on one session, I’m hedging my bets to increase my odds. I’d be thrilled to get the thumbs up on either of the two panels.

Without further ado, here are the eight panels submitted by us WCG-ers:

  • Ultimate Healthcare Reform – Reshaping Our World – Bob Pearson, WCG’s Chief Technology & Media Officer, sits down with Jeff Arnold, founder of WebMD and Sharecare, for an epic discussion on how the technology leaders at SXSW can take people from information to action to create healthier world.
  • Social Media…A Responsibility of WHICH Department? –Matt Snodgrass tackles the elephant in the room during this solo presentation that will dissect various industries and companies to examine where social media responsibility should lie.
  • Friending Pharma: Patients, Industry & New Media – Last Monday was a big day for pharma too. WCG Director Brian Reid joins a sundry team of health influencers including Pfizer VP Ray Kerins, Cancer Health Activist and Patient Expert Alicia Staley, and diabetes bloggers and patient advocates Kerri Sparling and Allison Blass as they examine the risks and benefits of connecting patients and biopharma companies online.
  • My Doctor Poked Me. Giggidy! – Anecdotal evidence suggests that health care providers’ use of social media is in the early stages of an explosion.  Social media analysts Andy Booth and Naimul Huq sit down with long-time MD and leading blogger Dr. Bryan Vartabedian to explore how social media is changing the future of the doctor-patient relationship.
  • Social Networks are Killing the Company Org Chart – Every company has an org chart – but we all know intuitively that work is done based on relationships and connections across the organization.  Mapping those connections can reveal a whole new world to smart corporations. Greg Matthews (a former HR exectutive) and Humana’s Director Learning Innovation Brian Foye explain how social media can map and measure the real corporation underneath the org chart.
  • Inside Out: Internal Social Media & Big Business – Industry leaders Brian Snyder, Jonathan Mast and Blair Klein join WCG Director Brad Mays to bring together the collective insight of some of the biggest corporate brands on best practices for using social media for internal collaboration and productivity.
  • Future of Location Marketing: Dummies Perspective – 2012 marks the three-year anniversary of Foursquare’s launch at SXSW.  Location-based gurus Aaron Strout and Mike Schneider will walk through the 5 golden rules of location-based marketing and how to leverage the “there” there.
  • Social Media Strategies of Top Tweeting Businesses – WCG’s Ricardo Guerrero understands the business of Twitter- if fact, he created most of Dell’s Twitter accounts, which generated $6.5M of revenue in their first 2.5 years.  During this panel Ricardo will examines the top 1,000 business Twitter accounts to analyze whether or not Twitter success translates across social media channels.
In addition to some of these potentially awesome panel submissions, I also have another seven I am excited to see. In no particular order, here they are:
  • The community revolving door: staying a step aheadWelcome to the biggest challenge presented by community. From continuing to seek out new members, to finding the next evangelist, membership evolution can be an unexpected challenge, but so is content evolution and most importantly, strategy evolution (Heather Strout, Farland Group, Jim Storer, The Community Round Table, Mark Wallace, EDR and Mike Pascucci, Ektron).
  • Aristotle Shops @WalMart | CSR, Ethics & Community – Today, Aristotle would be a Wal-Mart greeter, or perhaps manage its online community. What happened? The company changed their vision when CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. launched a massive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign to, in his words, “…create a better story”. (Kyle Flaherty, Breaking Point Systems & Alex Hahn, Vox Global)
  • The Facebook Customer Service Challenge for Brands – Managing customer service on a Facebook Page is a messy proposition, particularly for large businesses and brands. Increasingly impatient customers and fans are flocking to the Facebook Wall to fire off specific questions or complaints about product and service issues, with the expectation of receiving a rapid-fire satisfactory response and the threat of making a big stink across their social networks if they don’t.  (Bryan Person, David Berkowitz, 360i, Molly DeMaagd ‐ AT&T, Eric Ludwig, Rosetta Stone).
  • No Wallet? No Problem. Enter Mobile Payments. – The days of having that lump of a wallet in your back pocket or forgetting your wallet at home are over. Consumers around the world could generate as much as $50 billion in sales through NFC-based mobile payments by 2014, according to Juniper Research. Google already has merchants like Macy’s and The Container Store are using Google Wallet, powered by NXP’s secure NFC chips, to increase engagement and offer deals to consumers (Allen Tsai, David Berkowitz, 360i, Rob von Behren, Google, Jeff Miles, NXP Semiconductors, David Messenger, American Express).
  • Will the social web build a world we want? – Social media is transforming politics, the Middle East, corporate behavior and social activism. But how far can it go? Can citizens and customers, armed with social media and connected by shared values, create the movement for change that our world needs? Or will political manipulation, corporate self-interest and consumer fatigue overwhelm them?  (Simon Mainwaring, We First)
  • Can growing a moustache change the world? –  Join Adam Garone, CEO/co-founder of Movember, as he discusses how Movember leveraged the support of a few daring partners and pockets of loyal fans to generate a global movement that saw 450,000 moustache growers in 2010. Learn how Movember captivated the attention of a demographic infamous for not discussing their health, converted them into evangelists by turning the brand over to them, and sent them off to build the campaign. (Adam Garone, Movember)
Did you submit a panel this year? Or is there one that you know of that should absolutely make it to the next round? If so, feel free to include the link in the comments along with a little plug.



  1. Anonymous says

    Aaron and Meredith: Thanks for including my proposed panel in the list. With some good fortune, all of our panels will be selected!

  2. Anonymous says

    Aaron and Meredith: Thanks for including my proposed panel in the list. With some good fortune, all of our panels will be selected!

  3. Anonymous says

    Aaron and Meredith: Thanks for including my proposed panel in the list. With some good fortune, all of our panels will be selected!

  4. Anonymous says

    Aaron and Meredith: Thanks for including my proposed panel in the list. With some good fortune, all of our panels will be selected!


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