Recently Cisco commissioned a study with The Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 862 business leaders on their sentiments about the value of in-person meetings and the impact on more than 30 business processes including initial meetings, project kick-offs and contract renewals. Business leaders were virtually unanimous in agreeing that in-person communication is more effective, powerful and conducive to success; with 75 percent stating it is absolutely critical to the health of their organization. (For those of you who prefer infographics, here is one with the results).
However, our desire for closer, more synchronous communication is being challenged by globalization, distance, and increased pressure to reduce costs or “do more with less.” Telepresence is the most effective way to bridge the in-person gap, and as OJ Winge mentioned in a recent speech, it is helping to drive innovation and positive social change in all industries and businesses of all sizes.
But an interesting debate remains, while the majority of business leaders agree in-person is the most impactful communication, 60 percent of communications are not real-time. So what gives? Read More »
In 1982, Roland Swenson, a band manager in Austin, splurged $75 of his band’s budget to travel to New York City to attend a music conference. Knowing that his band wasn’t happy about the expenditure, he hustled to make sure the trip paid off. On the first day he successfully tracked down a booking agent and secured a $200 gig.
As Swenson told Texas Music Matters, he figured if this model worked in the Big Apple, it would work in Austin, so in 1987, he co-founded the SXSW Music Festival, which in its inaugural year hosted 172 acts and more than 700 attendees. For Austin bands, Swenson and his co-founders had created the most efficient way to connect with music fans, agents and distributors — ever. That is, until the arrival of the Internet.
Rhydian Dafydd, on bass and Ritzy Bryan, on guitar - rock out at the Chop Shop Records / Atlantic Records SXSW Party 2011, enabled by Cisco Eos
At SXSW, with hundreds of bands, singer / songwriters, DJ / producers, playing across the city, I was reminded of why record labels are important. You need them for the curation and aggregation of the music. Otherwise, in a sea of music, there are less avenues to find a good group of similar artists you may like. Last year at the Bandwidth Conference in San Francisco, we heard music industry luminary and Elektra Records founder, Jac Holzman, opine on the importance of labels as curators (watch video here).
I had not heard any of the Chop Shop Records bands before the event, and I was pleasantly surprised once the showcase got going. All the bands put on monster performances. I thought to myself again, “great curation at work”. The showcase started off with Kitten The Band, led by vocalist / guitarist Chloe Chaidez. Chloe was thrashing about during the 5 song set with a powerful voice and a confident stage presence. The music reminded me of early years of The Cure.
When Chloe of Kitten got off stage, I got to talk with her briefly about how she uses social media to connect with fans. The Atlantic Records team kindly let me know she’s only 16 years old. You would need to get up close to the stage to even guess Chloe’s age because she performs so confidently, yet sure enough she’s a soft spoken fresh faced teen when not singing. Each of the bands I talked with during the showcase have a specific social media channel that they like to use as their primary means of communication with fans. Chloe of Kitten’s social media platform of choice to talk to fans is Facebook; I guess like you would expect of a teenage girl. John Gourley of Portugal The Man emphasized he’s all about Twitter. For the U.K.’s Scars on 45, video blogging is the primary way they communicate to fans. In the clip, they talk about the video they shoot and other methods they use to communicate with fans, including via their Cisco Eos powered web site -- Scarson45.com.
SXSW has become an increasingly important event for the media and entertainment industry. The numbers themselves are telling—the show has had five+ years of double digit growth, and organizers said there was a 40 percent increase in registrations for the interactive portion this year compared to 2010. On the music and film side, organizers said that last week, the city of Austin, TX saw 2,000 bands perform on 92 stages, and there were more than 275 film screenings.
While the conference and festival’s increased prominence brings more eyeballs, it also means it’s harder to stand out from the crowd. Brands need a strong online presence to create interest and drive audiences to their physical events.