It Feels Like the First Time…

…It feels like the VERY first time. I have waited a lifetime….Wait, wait, WAIT! You just think I just have a Foreigner song stuck in my head, don’t you?

Nope! I’m actually talking about my first time to that little conference and festival held annually, drawing tens of thousands of Creatives and Musicians to Austin, Texas. It has a four word name. And it rhymes with Mouth By MouthZest.*

* By mentioning the ACTUAL name of the aforementioned event, Digital Yalo would be infringing on a copyright. And, quite frankly, we (sometimes) like to play by the rules. Or at least when legal action is threatened. So, if you weren’t able to figure out what festival I’m referring to, visit the Google machine.

Anyways, so my first time. I’m finally attending, after years of jealously hearing co-workers and other Creatives boast after coming back from Austin, with a fresh dose of vitamin D (I’m from Cleveland, a city that boasts maybe 60 days of true sunshine a year) and inspiration.

So, my time is now. What’s my strategy? As of today, here it is:

1.) Try Something New

While looking at the wide variety of sessions offered there are many that fit into my existing skillset and are a no brainer for me to attend. But, this is a once in a lifetime (hopefully not though) experience. So I better try something new. Basics of Hand Lettering? Thanks, but no thanks. I get a blister on my hand just thinking about the countless hours I spent hand lettering 8 point Bodoni with my Rapidograph in Design school. I’ll opt for sessions that focus on emerging technologies and trends. I’ve made an effort to focus on new technologies or skillsets to better myself and my agency’s offerings. Think about it? How fun is it to go to a restaurant and order a cheeseburger you’ve had a million times when you can have the Sous Vide Steak?

2.) Break Away From the Water Cooler

Sure, it’s great to experience something with your co-workers that isn’t a client review or a mandated brainstorming session. But, as mentioned before, this is a new experience for me. Quite frankly, I plan on breaking away from the comfort of the folks that I am traveling to South By . . . err . . . Mouth By MouthZest with. Not because I don’t like them, but because I think it will be more worthwhile for us to split up and attend different sessions. The point of attending is to experience new things and expand your craft. Let’s face it, if myself and my two other colleagues attend five different sessions that’s 15 topics we can discuss over a big Texan margarita. As opposed to 5, if we all stuck together. My point? Diversity makes everything (including happy hour at the end of the day) more interesting.

3.) Get Mentally Ready & Pack my Bags

Even though this is a “work trip” I am treating it like a vacation. Not a lay in the sun, do nothing type of vacation. But more like a trip I’m going on to get renewed and inspired by. Isn’t that the point of South By . . . ? I remember the first time I heard of this festival; I geeked out when I heard there was a place where Creatives gathered and discussed new technologies, design, marketing and music. In my fantasy vision of this place there were also unicorns, though I doubt there will be any in Texas.

Let’s be honest, I wear black 99% of the time. Not because I’m miserable, mostly because it’s timeless, and matches everything. So packing my clothes won’t really be an issue. I’m already compiling my playlist for the plane, filled with Big Thief, The Yawpers, Little Hurricane, and Chris Stalcup & The Grange. And, of course I’ll be packing a fresh journal and a charged camera to capture all my experiences at South By . . .

Stay tuned. Yalo is a digital marketing agency in Atlanta & Cleveland and no matter where we go, we’re always learning and bringing new tactics and ideas to the table that we are more than willing to share with our valued clients. You could be next – give us a call or fill-out our short form and let’s do something phenomenal together that rhymes with “largesse.” (Hint – “success” rhymes with “largesse.”)