In this day and age generalised blanket messaging results in low engagement and click-throughs, gone are the days of competing with price reductions and seasonal, overly generalised coupons and offers. It is now simply expected by customers that promotional tactics such as email marketing are not only relevant, but personalised.
So my time in Austin for SXSW with Hello Soda is over and despite the overwhelming need to sleep for three days straight, it has been incredible.
For us techies, it all kicked off on Thursday 8th March and continued non-stop until, well, now. While the trade show ran from Sunday through to Wednesday, the Friday and Saturday before presented many opportunities not to be missed (a highlight for me being the Startup Crawl, brimming with innovative new businesses and likeminded attendees… not to mention the free drinks…)
Less than 24 hours after landing, Phil and Jack found a ping pong table…
Renowned for our ping-pong league back in the UK HQ, we couldn’t resist launching the international league when we spotted this table in the crawl… spoiler alert they were just as good (/bad) as they are in the UK.
After an incredibly busy Friday, Saturday was spent setting up for the trade show while my colleagues took advantage of the conference sessions that their Interactive badges allowed access to. Thanks to Industrious (where our Austin office is based), we were well prepared for days on our feet – top tip: wear trainers.
Barely seeing the inside of the apartment meant I was constantly on the go, but the resources available for exhibitors and attendees are enough to keep you going (you just need to know where to find them.) Coffee and pastries were constantly available in the exhibitor lounge in the trade show, and a bonus of being part of Industrious is the breakfasts and afternoon refreshments put out each working day. It’s safe to say I will need a break from coffee for a while and I don’t think I will need any more cake or pizza for weeks.
If you haven’t attended before, the trade show runs from Sunday to Wednesday, 10am – 6pm (ending at 2pm on Wednesday). The first two days promised a constant flow of traffic and many conversations, uncovering new challenges of businesses and discovering new applications for our solutions that we may not otherwise have found. Tuesday and Wednesday were predictably quieter but the meaningful discussions we experienced meant that the entire period was worthwhile participating in. The hours standing in one place can be gruelling so try to organise break opportunities with your colleagues to stretch your legs and have a sit down (I’ll say this again.. wear trainers!)
A bonus of attending the festival is that there is so much going on (maybe too much) so you never struggle to find something to do in the evening. While my colleagues enjoyed the perks of being badge-holders (including Steve Aoki headlining the closing party), I went on the search for some free music and was not disappointed. Take some time to search the free, unofficial events going on before you travel and plan a couple of priorities. Once you find one it’s easy to find the others (you can sleep when you get back home right?)
Now it’s time for a few days of focus and follow-up planning. Hopefully see you next year SXSW!
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James has been nominated for the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year award in the category of Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards in the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year category.
Following a successful 2016 and an even better 2017, we are excited at this time of growth for the company and what the future holds. What we do at Hello Soda becomes even more relevant the further we delve into the digital age, with more demand for convenience, access, and personalised experiences than ever before.
Both awards ceremonies will be held in Manchester. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards are taking place on 11th October, with the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards held on 22nd November.
Remember to check back to find out whether James has won.
View the full shortlists here:
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We like to keep things exciting in the Hello Soda office, so what better way to bring out everyone’s competitive side than a pool tournament? But who were the winners?
The Hello Soda pool tournament winners are… our Business Development Director, Phil, and our Director of NLP & Data Science, Iustin!
Get in touch with Phil today to congratulate his winning status (or to find out how you could benefit from our solutions).
Keep your eye out next quarter to find out which Hello Soda tournaments are coming up.
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The Pizza-eater of the quarter is… our new Business Development Director Phil!
Get in touch with him to congratulate his efforts (or to find out how you can benefit from Hello Soda’s solutions)…
New Starters, New Products, New Clients!
Hello Soda’s sales team is expanding! After more than doubling in size in the past year, and opening an international office in Austin, Texas, we are excited to continue our rapid growth with 3 new additions to our sales team.
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