I am down in Austin, TX at SxSW, which is always a good time. I love learning about new technologies, trends in market, and meeting cool people. Many of whom who are building what we’ll all be using in the future. It seems extra crazy this year, but I may always think (or I’m just getting older since I first attended in 2011). 

Saturday, after a talk by one of Mozilla’s Fellows, I headed over to the Fast Company Grill. You can’t beat a free lunch of shrimp tacos and local beer. I also saw two talks, including one from Dan Rather, which was so awesome! He was talking about his news media company, News and Guts. I also got my face on a cookie – which I thought was cool and Brian thought was a little creepy.

The rest of the day I enjoyed the nearly 90 degree weather. I checked out the Wellness Fair, a couple more talks, and a few parties (one of which yielded this light-up drink). It was nice to meet people and learn about some new startups that are trying to disrupt banking and travel.

I started Sunday early (even with the time change). I got some coffee and walked to an event with breakfast tacos. Then I found the Pinterest House for a second breakfast of bagels & lox and a grapefruit mimosa. I met a food blogger from Austin who gave me a hot tip on a new restaurant (checking it out later this week!). On my way back to the Convention Center, I spotted the baby goats sign and saw people doing “goat yoga.” I’m not really sure why it’s a thing, but I hope the goats like it.

After a talk on the “Future Trends in Technology,” I spent a little time in the Trade Show hall. I checked out IEEE’s mixed reality platform. It’s hard to believe that the future of work, business, and entertainment will be so different in not too long. Jetsons’ world here we come!

Then I listened to Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s new Brand Manager (already gone now), and a panel of women talking about the future of work. The panel included Melinda Gates (pictured), Joanna Coles (Hearst Magazines), Stacy Brown-Philpot (Taskrabbit), and Nina Shaw (attorney and co-founder of Times Up). Listening to the five of them talk about the critical role diversity plays in business was very powerful and inspiring.

So many brands have venues and events going on during SxSW that it can get to be a little overwhelming. It’s refreshing when a brand breaks through the noise and makes you happy you stood in line. This was definitely true for the Starz Sensory House. They were promoting the launch of two new shows (one based on the book Sweetbitter).

They used the five senses to guide you through a cool experience full of free stuff (what’s not to love!). My favorite was the “scent” room where perfumer, Krista Lacey, had created scents based on the four main characters. You got to pick samples of the two you liked the most.

I met up with a friend at Fulton, at the new Fairmont Hotel. We shared this yummy cheese board and then headed to meet some others for an Upright Citizen’s Brigade show. In all, it was a great day. Hope you had a nice weekend too!

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