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PR Agency Attendance up 8-fold at SXSWi Since 2009

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

We’ve done the tallies, and clearly, some PR agencies are drinking the Austin Kool-aid. In fact, since 2009, the PR agency attendence is up by over 800%.

For putting so many feet on the ground, and increasing their attendance by at least 10x since 2009, Edelman wins this year’s “PR King of SXSWi” badge.

Here is the full PR agency leader board for SXSW 2011:

PR AGENCY 2011 Online Directory 2011 Print Directory 2010 Print Directory 2009 Print Directory
1 Edelman 44 30 3 3
2 Weber Shandwick 35 32 11 3
3 Porter Novelli 31 17 23 0
4 Fleishman Hillard 24 10 4 2
5 Dachis Group 19 13 7 2
6 Waggener Edstrom 11 4
7 Hill & Knowlton 2 0 1 2
7 Kinda Sorta Media 2 2 0 0
8 Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants 1 1 0 0
8 Kimtaro 1 1 0 0
8 The Kindle Chronicles 1 1 1 1
8 Kinetic Ink 1 1 1 0
8 Oglio Entertainment 1 1 0 0
13 Burson-Marsteller 0 0 1 0

We award the honorary “Boy Scout Badge” to Weber Shandwick, who was most prepared for SXSW by signing up the most employees in time for the print directory deadline.

If you want to see how the advertising industry stacks up, check out the ad list.

If there’s anyone we’re missing, give us a shout.

Advertising Agency Attendance Up 10-Fold at SXSWi 2011

by Nick Faber
Monday, March 28th, 2011
via flickr user stevegarfield

Ad agencies seemed to be everywhere at SXSWi this year.

JWT had an entire truck of BBQ bustling around Austin dumping brisket on anyone who tweeted at them. Our neighbors Ignite threw a hot party, and many agency players sat on interactive panels. David Berkowitz of 360i owned the Future15 format with his entertaining and prescient talk on NFC and RFIDRick Webb of Barbarian Group and Rob Rassmusen of Tribal DDB headed up a whole panel about agencies and technology, and Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer led the Web 2.0 playbook for non-profits.

But it was only when we got home and pulled out an old SXSW directory that we realized just how giant the agency avalanche really was this year.  Some agencies that sent only one or two staffers in ’09 fielded platoons in Austin in 2011.  In all, more than 1400 ad agency folks had SXSW badges this year. That’s roughly one in 13 badges.

With more than 100 agencies and 1400+ agency folks badged in 2011 — up from almost nothing in 2009 — we have to wonder: will the festival be renamed SXSWa in 2012?

We did a little hacking, BBQ-style, to see which agencies had the biggest presence at SXSWi. We combined agencies with the same name (Leo Burnett and Leo Burnett/Arc WW, and JWT and JWT New York, for instance), chopped and sorted by attendance, and poured a little sauce on top to get the following top-10 list. (You can also view the full list of 100+ ad agencies attending SXSWi at the bottom of the post. To illustrate the magnitude of change, we’ve added a column with the same ad shops’ attendance counts for ’09.) See the bottom of the page for the full list of agencies.

Tuesday Update: We’ve mined SXSW’s online directory and updated the rankings. Leo Burnet remains King of SXSWi but there are lots of new entrants. Using the online database, ad agency attendance swelled to 1479 from our previous tally of 1013.

You can see both print and online directory numbers from 2011, and the 2009 print catalog numbers in our spreadsheet. We’ve calculated the delta between online and print directory, since this indicates which agencies plugged into SXSWi first and bought badges at the last minute.

ADVERTISING AGENCY 2011 Online Directory 2011 Print Directory 2009 Print Directory
1 Leo Burnett 65 56 0
2 Saatchi & Saatchi 60 53 3
2 BBDO 60 38 0
4 Digitas 58 43 3
5 JWT 55 42 3
5 GSD&M 55 0 0
7 Ogilvy 48 33 4
8 Sapient 47 41 11
8 Wieden+Kennedy 47 1 3
10 DraftFCB 45 29 1

 

So it’s our pleasure to award this year’s “King of SXSWi” badge to Leo Burnett, who brought an army of 56 to Austin. That’s a Texas-scale achievement for an agency that had zero attendees in 2009.

We give Razorfish the honorary “Boy Scout Badge” for being most prepared for SXSWi by having the most employees registered ahead of the print deadline.

At the same time, there are still some notable agencies who didn’t get badges. Even though Moxie threw a giant party, nobody from the shop appears to have bought a badge. Really? We searched the online directory, and Moxie did buy some badges. But why so late that they missed the print directory?

Think your agency should be on this list? Did we get your agency’s numbers wrong? Feel free to update our spreadsheet, and let us know what we’re missing.

If you’re one of the unlucky cats at Carat, Grey, or any of the other agencies who didn’t make it to Austin, be sure to forward this post to your boss and maybe we’ll see you next year in Texas. (more…)

#SXSWi: So Long and Thanks for All the Over-Stimulation

by Nick Faber
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

This past week, the technorati tore through Austin, TX, running tirelessly from panel to party, fueled by Shiner Bock and an appetite for Twitter followers. In a week where sleep is as spotty as free wi-fi and electrical outlets are more precious than business cards, the thought of going back home gets sweeter by the day.

Here are some bittersweet farewells from the revelers of Spring Break for Geeks:

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/dberkowitz/status/47759734522130433"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/edwardboches/status/47759951317303296"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/digiphile/status/47782523895427072"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/toms/status/47796137205301248"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/krempasky/status/47797143683080192"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/benkunz/status/47813473777876992"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/moon/status/47819534320680960"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/shivsingh/status/47821922821611520"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/PeterHimler/status/47416330697179136"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/izastella/statuses/47430354990137345"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/farrellactual/statuses/47980980727844864"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/Broadbandito/statuses/47728969507815424"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/brandon/statuses/47662668366102528"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/dermotwaters/statuses/47689632732815361"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/jasondebiak/statuses/47755571042070528"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/childhood/statuses/47714760216686592"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/Rynomite/statuses/47778761214660608"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/letsgobuffs/statuses/47745989091672064"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/wrdesign58/statuses/47706258458935296"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/BenjLerer/statuses/47659928311177217"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/daveknight/statuses/47988334135492608"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/jessicamalnik/statuses/47966292929552385"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/aaronstrout/statuses/47798041176059904"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/StacyCowley/statuses/47768588152614912"]

#SXSWi Trade Show: Advice for the Little Guys

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The much-anticipated South By Southwest Interactive Trade Show opened yesterday at 11am. If I could use one word to describe it, it would be “packed.” Not just with festival-goers but with vendors. So how can vendors attract attention? Like moths to a fire, festival-goers can’t help but be drawn to the big and the fantastic.

The first “booth” you may notice is Chevy’s Photo Boom, a bullet-time photo booth that allows users take their own Matrix-Style videos. People stood in line to have a 360-degree photo of themselves jumping in mid-air with funny costumes on. Can you blame them? Over a decade after the Matrix introduced this technique, it’s still really cool.


High above the right side of the Trade Show hang giant images of Conan O’Brien, Meatwad, and other Turner TV icons. Below them are representatives of Turner’s new multi-platform technology group, AMPT, ready to pounce.

In the back of the hall, Monster.com has giant touch-screens where attendees can play Monster Match Game — and win prizes!

Between these giant interactive displays are dozens of booths that hope for a bowl of Hershey’s kisses to draw us in for a pitch. So how do the small-but-ambitious start-ups compete in this space dominated by the big, incredible, and well-funded corporate booths?

Sadly, many don’t.

But there is hope for the little guys. When free candy and beer aren’t enough to draw in the overstimulated festival-goers, a little bit of personality goes a long way. The guys from Hashtag Art got my attention with a single HDTV displaying a beautiful photo mosaic. As soon as he saw me look at his screen, Marc Fischman said “Hi Nick.” And soon he was wowing me with his products. No Hershey’s Kisses. Just good old-fashioned human interaction.

If your product alone isn’t enough to captivate someone at first glance, you can still be creative. There’s a tutorial on how to make your own “Photo Boom” on the cheap. America loves an underdog, and I for one would wait in line to “Enter the Ghetto Matrix” instead of the high-production (and probably high-cost) setup that Chevy had, if I knew it was created by a passionate and ingenious start-up.

So, Trade Show Exhibitors, if you feel like you didn’t get enough attention today, don’t worry. You’ve still got three days to put on your best smile, call a passer-by by name, and show them that you’re just as amazing as the big guys.

Blogads and PBS Party at #SXSW

by Nick Faber
Monday, March 14th, 2011

Last night, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and MyNameIsJohnMichael rocked a full house at the Parish in Austin, TX. The party, co-sponsored by PBSNPR, Frontline, ITVS, P.O.V., StoryCorps and Blogads, was a wild success. Hundreds of SXSW-ers lined up outside of the club before the doors even opened. Once they were inside, our guests were treated to drinks, a photobooth, goodies from the sponsors, and of course, a musical force of nature.

Many thanks to all of our partners who helped make it happen, and to the Parish, who let us take over their venue, and to all who were able to come out and enjoy themselves with us. While there are many more parties to be had this year, we can’t help but get excited about the possibilities for next year.

Check out our Facebook album for more pics from last night’s party. And maybe listen to a little Trombone Shorty while you’re looking.

Moot debuts Canv.as at SXSW

by henrycopeland
Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Christopher Poole, aka moot, debuted his new imagineering community Canv.as at SXSW this afternoon.

Almost immediately, Canv.as struck back with dozens of redubs of photos from his talk.

Not at #SXSW? You’re not alone.

by Nick Faber
Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The ~18k people are at SXSWi this year are only .0000025% of the world’s population, but it seems some of the Internauts who are not in Austin feel lonely.

Or bitter.

The bad news: registration may be capped next year. Get in line now people.

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/Ashscallion/status/46657973203902465"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/_luisantonio/statuses/46624726524768256"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/petershankman/status/46548511428313088"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/djwaldow/status/46400923836227584"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/UniBashRadio/status/46675800543604736"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/danlondon/status/47440119833165824"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/PaulBiedermann/status/46673071351926784"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/erinfaye/status/46670835825655808"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/candicetobin/status/46668629311365120"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/boxofcrayons/status/46668099503656960"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/CarlaGates247/status/46651395797024768"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/valpass/status/46648565111586816"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/Elika/statuses/46603231157174272"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/rhnnntrtmnn/status/46677524763246592"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/heatherknight/status/46636597675950080"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/DavidBThomas/status/46404551435235328"]

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/matt_creamer/status/46392192213860352"]

#SXSW: Tips from Top Tipsters

by Nick Faber
Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Packing for SXSW? Here’s a round-up of some of the best ‘tips for hipsters’ packages now proliferating online.

Michael Pusateri, cruftbox.com: How to prepare for SxSW, version 2011

With eight SXSWs notched, Michael Pusateri is a bona-fide SWexpert. He offers some of the best advice around, from the practical (“Always be Charging”) to the punctilious:

When asking a question in a session, don’t make a sales pitch – From time to time, people use the question time during sessions to pitch their own projects. No one cares.

Luke Garro, Antler: How to Prepare for SXSW 2011

Luke Garro taps into his experience performing at SXSW Music (as a member of the band Piebald) to offer 8 things to consider.

Be nimble. Don’t be too strict with your schedule if something better comes up last minute. Follow the energy and see where it takes you.

B. Bonin Bough, Forbes: A User’s Guide to SXSW 2011

PepsiCo’s Director of Social Media forecasts some trends at the “Davos of Digital,” including star treatment for photosharing:

Photo aggregation and sharing is one of those areas no one has quite gotten 100% right yet, but companies like Instagram, with their innovative use of hashtags, are certainly getting close, and I expect big things from them and other photosharing players at SXSW this year.

Britt Hayes, Yahoo! Movies: SXSW 2011: A Beginner’s Survival Guide

Britt Hayes covers 5 important topics, including the controversial “to badge or not to badge” issue:

Without a badge, you are nothing. This isn’t hyperbole: if you do not have a badge, you will look like a self-important jerk who thinks he’s too good to work his butt off for a badge like everyone else.

Alan Weinkrantz: Alan’s Guide To #SXSW 2011

Alan, an event speaker at SXSWi, offers 12 quick tips to first-time goers. Because, as any second-timer knows, there are just some things you forget to think about:

Wear good, very comfy shoes.  And a easy to wear t-Shirt.

Barry Moltz: How to Prepare for SXSW

Barry admits you can never be 100% prepared for SXSW, but you can pretty much count on being overwhelmed.  So…

Set up appointments with people I want to meet again and for the first time. SXSW is so huge, it is unlikely you will just run into them. I am setting up specific times and places.

Are you a jaded SXSW-goer or a nervous first-timer? Badge or no badge? How are you preparing for Austin?

An Unofficial Guide to the Unofficial Guides of SXSWi 2011

by Nick Faber
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

With over a thousand events in less than a week, South by Southwest Interactive seems more like an avalanche than a conference.

So who’s gonna be my sherpa? I searched high and low for the most comprehensive expert guides on the subject. So while there are some good short-lists of ‘must-dos,’  it seems that there’s too much data for human curators to handle.  To comprehend the totality of SXSW, we’re left to muddle through with scheduling apps and services that try to aggregate the opinions of SXSWi attendees.

Plancast: Unofficial SXSW 2011 Events Guide


With over 3200 participants RSVPing for SXSW Interactive (compared to 196 for music and 157 for film), Plancast seems to be the unofficial SXSWi planning app of record. The SXSWi guide’s clean home page breaks down events by useful overarching categories like “Keynotes,” “Education,” and perhaps the most important for you guerilla attendees, “Badgeless.” Below that, events are listed in order of popularity rather than by date. Plancast easily connects with Twitter to allow you to follow your friends and see what they’re plan(cast)ning for the conference. The social-ness, the wiki-like event editing, and the emphasis on event popularity make the crowd the SXSWi sherpas on Plancast.

Tip: Best for iPhone users, since it doesn’t have an Android app yet. Do your planning on your macbook, and download the app to take your plans with you.

Lanyrd: SXSW Interactive 2011

Lanyard offers Plancast the stiffest competition in terms of popularity with the Interactive set, with almost 3000 participants marked as attending SXSWi. The front page of the SXSW section is very guide-like, with lots of metadata, lots of photos and a link to the the all-encompassing coverage tracker. There are lots of topic tags, too, so you can get fairly specific looking for panels that interest you. The events are highly editable and taggable, and allow slideshows and supplemental material, so much like Plancast, you can rely on the wisdom of the crowd to steer you to the right places at the right times. But, hey no commenting?

Tip: Build your calendar here then export to iCal or Outlook.

SCHED*: Unofficial SXSW 2011 Schedule

Although Sched lacks OAuth/Twitter integration, its SXSW Guide is colorful and chronological, and shows you everything that is happening on any given day. And I do mean everything. Scroll down the home page and you’ll see that Austin is going to be busy. Signing up isn’t as easy as I would have liked, but once you’re registered, you can start building out your schedule by clicking check boxes. Check a few boxes off and soon you’re profile page will look more like a calendar.

Tip: View the schedule in “detail” view to see more info, and to link out to official RSVP pages without clicking into each event. This will make the already-long page even longer, but a simple CTRL+F search for keywords you’re interested in will help you navigate the days’ events.

Ning: The Unofficial SXSW Insider’s Guide

Visually beautiful, and using the phrase “insider’s guide” in the masthead give the Ning site the most “official guide” look and feel of the bunch. Even more insider-y, it only lists a few events on the home page. But once you click through to the main events page, you realize that those are the “featured” events, and to see more you need to either search for them or create them yourselves. It seems that the insiders here are you and I, and it’s up to us to populate this site. In a few more clicks, you’ll find this site to be rather sprawling and unintuitive, less guide, more haphazard social network. And I couldn’t help but think of MySpace when I got my first spam comment almost immediately after signing up.

Tip: Go straight to the forum for inside tips on the conference and Austin.

SitBy.Us

image via weightshift.com

To be fair, SitBy.Us doesn’t purport to be a guide. I just had to mention it, though, because it’s the site that I anticipate using the most this year. This “micro check-in” app was built and released especially for SXSW 2011. Logging in with Twitter, you can indicate the events you are interested in, and literally tell your followers when you find your seat. Like a couple of the other “guides,” the descriptive info for all of the events comes straight from the SXSW guide — the “official” one — but with the added knowledge that someone you follow definitely checked into an event, well, maybe there’s your sherpa.

Tip: The app-iest of all of these site, definitely use this on your phone.

I will be letting the Plancast and Lanyard crowds be my sherpas on SXSW Everest, but since neither render very nicely on my Android, I am going to carry around my “official” schedule and refer to SitBy.Us. Follow me (@NickBlogads) in Austin, and sit by me to see if I’ve made the right choice.

If you’re looking for my colleagues at the conference, follow @hc, @katiebrauer@blogadsdevin, @RachelBlogads, and @djmooney.

And finally, be sure to bookmark Blogads founder Henry’s panel Tuesday AM with the guys from Prezi about innovation in Hungary. You can also find it on Plancast, Lanyrd, Sched*, Ning, and SitBy.Us.

SXSW party: save your Sunday night

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

This will be the fifth year (or sixth?) of our parties at SXSW, again with the great PBS folks and other friends. This year we’re moving to an awesome bigger venue, The Parish. As always, the party will be Sunday night.

Location: 214 East 6th Street

Time: 9pm to 1am.

The headliner, Trombone Shorty, is AWESOME.  Don’t believe me?  Try this:

If you’re at SXSW be sure to stop by and see us. This year Donald, Henry, Katie, Rachel, Robert and Zsolt will be there. And we’ll have some teeshirts.


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