3 Ways Brands Can Cut Through the Noise at SXSW

March 11, 2016 • Blog Post • Jennifer Goforth Gregory, HPE Matter Contributor


  • HPE and Fast Company are partnering up at SXSW to share information on closing the digital divide and solving the data deluge
  • To make the most out of your conference experience, find the right audience, engage in two-way conversations and create an interactive experience

Jack Richard, Integrated Marketing Manager at HPE, shares highlights from the company’s partnership with Fast Company

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) isn’t a newcomer to SXSW Interactive. But this year is different. Rather than simply attending events or joining a panel, HPE is creating a two-way conversation with people who see technology’s potential and care about how it will impact the future. For HPE, this means The Machine. “The computer platform hasn’t changed in 60 years and at some point soon, the architecture won’t be able to support what we need it to,” says Jack Richard, manager of integrated marketing for global campaigns at HPE. “We want to talk with attendees about why this matters, why we care and hear their thoughts. And for those who can’t be in Austin, let’s connect on Twitter with the hashtags #FCGrill and #HPE.” Fast Company Grill: A place for the conversations that matter To find HPE, head to the invitation-only Fast Company Grill located at the Cedar Door Bar and Grill, just two blocks from the convention center. Richard says HPE is excited to partner with Fast Company because the media outlet has a similar audience and is already having the conversations that HPE thinks are important to the future. “The Grill is the place for networking as well as discovering new ways to look at computing through panel presentations and interactive exhibits from sponsors including HPE,” says Richard. Check out some of the following HPE happenings at SXSW:

  • Living Progress: closing the digital divide – Over the past year, HPE hosted a crowdsourced contest where people from around the world submitted ideas to the Living Progress Challenge about how they would use technology to solve real-world problems. HPE will then choose up to five winners, helping to turn their ideas and prototypes into a reality. At the SXSW exhibit, attendees interact with leading submissions, color the adult coloring wall depicting top entries and talk with HPE about the project.
  • The Machine: solving for the data deluge – The amount of electric power needed to run computers and other devices we depend on daily is simply unstainable in the long run. Yet at the same time, we need to bridge the digital divide and bring access to technology to all parts of the world. To solve this paradox, HPE is developing The Machine, a fundamental transformation in the way we compute. An interactive display shows SXSW attendees the concepts and the design.
  • Discussions: a deeper conversation – HPE is partnering with other industry influencers for three panel talks at the Fast Company Grill. These include: Making Progress: How Data and Technology Are Accelerating Social Good, The Human Touch: How to Make Big Data Personal and Beyond the Cloud: Exploring our Hyper-Connected Future.

Starting conversations with your own customers at live events Participating in conferences and conventions provides valuable exposure and connections for businesses. Since it is a significant investment both in terms of time and resources, carefully plan your strategy before setting foot in the venue. Richard shares the following tips for brands to make the most out of conferences:

  1. Bring your own influencers – One of the hardest things to do at an event is create your own audience. At your next event, partner with brands that have a complementary story and message as well as other influencers in your field to get a bigger voice. With the right influencers, you get more followers, both on social media and in person, as well as increased brand credibility.
  2. Find your stories – It doesn’t come off as authentic if a brand shows up and tries to create a dialogue that perfectly matches its own agenda. Instead, find the conversations that are already happening in the industry and bring your brand’s unique perspective to that discussion.
  3. Create an experience – People don’t want to be talked at. Rather, they want to feel like they’re a part of something. Aim to create an interactive experience for attendees that leverages all parts of marketing—social, panel discussions, print, video and in-person networking. It’s not just PR, social media or the physical booth, it’s how all of these pieces work together to tell your story.

Yes, it takes more effort to approach events from a 360-degree holistic angle. But you leave the conference with valuable information about what your customers care about that you simply would not get any other way. As a result, your customers will know who your brand is and what you stand for.


To find out how HPE can transform your enterprise, go to HPE.com.


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