How to manage your SXSW FOMO


Are you headed to SXSW next month? Yeah, me neither. I got to attend last year but it simply wasn’t in the cards for 2018. I’m partially bummed because I won’t get to see some of the proposals that I evaluated last fall as part of my work for the SX advisory board. Nor will I get to check out some of the new tracks they’ve added to the conference line-up, but there is always next year.

There are lots of guides and how-to posts about how to get the most out of SXSW if you’re an attendee. But what if you aren’t going but still want to stay plugged in? Don’t sweat it – there are still ways to be part of the experience even if it’s virtually. I threw together a few suggestions on ways to stay connected to the event in real time despite not being there in person. Continue reading


2017 MIMA Summit: my picks to click


Next week on October 12 the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) will host the 2017 version of its annual Summit. This is the 16th anniversary of the event if my memory serves me correct. With it being just around the corner I thought I’d share my picks on the sessions you shouldn’t miss. Continue reading

the next side something


I’m not a fan of the phrase “side hustle” because the word hustle seems overused these days, but I’ve always found myself spending free time on outlets outside of my day job. I tried my hand as a co-founder on a start-up venture that fizzled out. I am nearing the end of my second and final term on the board of directors for the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association where I co-lead programming. I also serve on the advisory board for SXSW where I get to help evaluate proposals and provide input on the content that makes its way into the Austin conference. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: SXSW advisory board


It’s six months and counting until SXSW 2015 commences, but the conference is top of mind for many people in the advertising and marketing industries. I’m sure you’ve seen people on Twitter begging asking for votes for their panel proposals. Or perhaps you know colleagues that were glued to their computers last month when SXSW registration opened just so they could get a chance to score one of the precious hotel rooms in downtown Austin.

As of late I have been on my own mini-SXSW bender. I’m a member of the SXSW Advisory Board and this is the time of the year when I’m on the clock. The last couple of weeks have found me binge reading and giving my two cents on two hundred different marketing related proposals that are trying to make the cut for the interactive portion of the conference. With this being my fourth year on the board, I thought that I could share my view on the selection process for the conference and what I think about when giving feedback. Continue reading

looking back on SXSW 2013

Sunday I returned to Minneapolis after my annual trip to Austin for SXSW. Last week marked the second straight year I made it down to Texas for SXSW Interactive and my fifth consecutive year for SXSW Music. It’s becoming a bit of a tradition: part business trip where I can get inspired and meet with various agencies or vendors and part warm weather vacation where I can get away from the long Minnesota winters while getting to see TONS of live music.

Just like last year when I wrote about some highlights from the conference, I thought I’d share some highlights from this year’s trip. Continue reading

SXSW 2012: a retrospective

I’m finally starting to get my legs back underneath me after being home for a full week following my nine day marathon in Austin for the 2012 SXSW Interactive and Music conference.  As I mentioned in my previous post previewing the event, my plan was to attend SXSW Interactive in a work capacity and then take some vacation time for SXSW Music.



I’m not going to go on a deep dive on any one specific topic here nor will I write about my lessons learned should I go back next year (like the imperative to bring comfortable shoes or a portable battery charger for the iPhone).  There were some highlights, some lowlights and some just silly observations (like this or this or this).  It was a time for inspiration, networking, validation and just having fun.  All-in-all I had a fantastic time and as weird as it sounds I was a bit sad to leave Austin even after spending more than a week in the city during its most crowded time of the year. Continue reading

Getting primed for my SXSW marathon adventure


(In case you are wondering, this is some fool licking the pavement at SXSW.  Keep Austin Weird indeed.)

If you follow me on Twitter, then the last couple of months you may have caught some of my random tweets counting down the time until SXSW begins.  (I’m assuming that most music fans or digital marketing folks know about the conference, but if you are unfamiliar with SXSW then you can get the lowdown here.)  I’m big into music and have been making my way down to Austin every March the last few years for the annual music conference.  Leslie and I have a great time catching up with friends while completely over indulging in live music.  Plus, we just love Austin.
Continue reading