Austin here we come!

So a little delayed in posting this due to the hectic schedule of first project due dates for Elon iMedia students last week, but I was thrilled to discover that my partner Brandy Stearns and I were one of the winning teams in Elon’s South by Southwest competition. In March, we will be attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX as part of a group of six students.  (Read Professor Brad Berkner’s account of the competition).

We had to present to a panel of our professors a strategy for how we would represent Elon and engage in the SXSW experience. Brandy and I came up with a social media campaign that planned to incorporate the entire Elon University community while promoting the Interactive Media grad program as a whole. It is not just about bringing a few iMedia students to SXSW, we wanted to bring the SXSW experience back to campus.


Brandy created this logo and print materials that would help promote our campaign and I designed a Tumblr and twitter (@elontosxsw) page. Our thought process behind using Tumblr and Twitter as the primary tools for reporting on SXSW was their ability to create a two-way conversation with our audience in real-time situations. Whether it’s asking our followers’ questions during a panel Q&A or letting readers decide what panel they would be most interested in us attending, we wanted the experience at South by Southwest to be a collaborative experience.

It was also important to us that the representatives chosen to go to SXSW be ambassadors for the iMedia program as a whole. While only three years in, we believe the graduate program has made great leaps in its growth and want to see it soar to great heights and respect in the industry. The higher the reputation the better for all of us when we enter the job market. What better way to spread awareness and respect for the program then to represent it well at the industry’s largest gathering?

So this was our idea in a nutshell, you can see some of the materials and the Flash element I created for the presentation here: http://student.elon.edu/jriley10/sxsw

18 groups (36 students) competed for the six winning spots and from talking to my fellow students about their presentations, it seems that the level of work and ideas put into this competition were amazing! I am honored to have been chosen as one of the winners, and I feel deeply responsible to make the most out of this experience for the benefit of our program as a whole.

I look forward to working with the other winners to combine our ideas and start working towards the various goals we proposed. I would love any suggestions on how we can best represent the program and incorporate other groups’ ideas into our planning process.

SXSW just released the names of the exhibitors at the 2012 Trade Show, and it already has me tingling with excitement! What company do you want to learn more about?

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