Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 11 2013

SXSW Brings New Meaning to Engagement

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

sxsw_newsWhen tens of thousands of music fans descend on Austin this week, they’ll find a big surprise waiting for them on the corner of 5th and Red River: a 62-feet tall vending machine stage. The machine is part of Doritos’ presence at SXSW, the most talked-about spring music festival, and the PepsiCo brand is doing more than just putting on a show on the high-traffic corner in Austin. The brand is putting the stage in the hands of fans both on-site and around the world.

On Thursday, March 14, the stage welcomes a cast of hip hop headliners including LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and Doug E. Fresh. Along with these main stage names, fans will be able to choose from three opening acts by casting votes via Twitter. Fans will be able to vote on special effects, lighting and song selection during LL Cool J’s set. Translation: Mama didn’t just say knock you out. She also said to use hashtags and eat chips.

Fans in Austin will have the chance to stand in front of the massive vending machine stage, but Doritos is also taking the SXSW experience to fans at home. The entire show will be streamed live on the Doritos Facebook page.

What You Can Borrow From Doritos

While your annual meeting probably doesn’t have quite the budget that Doritos is operating with in Austin, you don’t have to have millions of dollars and millions of online fans to transform your meeting. Instead, you can leverage some of the cutting-edge tools to take your meeting to a new level.

“There are so many opportunities for meeting planners today,” Mary Reynolds Kane, senior director, experience marketing, PCMA, says. “From audience response systems to hybrid technologies to social gaming, meeting professionals should explore the vast range of tools that can turn their conferences into experiences that everyone will be talking about.”

Interested in seeing how Doritos will leverage social media for this event? Watch the Doritos Facebook page on Thursday.

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