South by Southwest group

We in the interactive industry are in the throws of deciding SXSW 2011 panels and presentations with panel picker voting in full swing. I found much to complain about last year after wandering into far too many crap sessions so I’m taking the initiative to help improve the quality by voting heartily, pitching our own presentation (a collaborative effort with Jon Lax that I believe is very important for the creative industry), and I’ve compiled a list of standout sessions for your perusal. Take a look and please take the time to vote for the sessions that interest you.

Theory and Practice

Abolish The Hourly: How Value Pricing Wins Clients
Lee Dale from Say Yeah and Jon Lax from Teehan+Lax
Following up on the NXNE value pricing panel, Lee and Jon will are developing a structure value pricing primer for the creative industry. From what is value pricing to why would a client be interested in the value pricing model, learn all you need to know to move from hourly pricing to value pricing.

Bend Over? Surprise! Agencies Are Screwing You
Lucia Mancuso, Meghan Warby, Scott Stratten
Our sister panel, from the client POV, agreeing the hourly model stinks. Well, from the agency POV, we agree!

Agile Ain’t Just For Developers: Agile People Manifesto
Andre Gaulin from Cineplex and Jay Goldman from Rypple
The Agile People Manifesto: a call to arms for managers and team leaders to re-evaluate, re-focus, and re-learn. We need to move on from old school mantras focused on hierarchies and heavy processes and embrace concepts like collaboration, iteration, simplicity, feedback, and culture!

How To Start A Social Commerce Bonfire
Kevin Hartz from Eventbrite
As the social web has lit a massive blaze of consumer engagement, sharing and social activity, the eyeball camp is winning and leaving the transactional camp looking for ways to get into the social flow. This presentation explores the question, “How and where does the transaction leverage the scale of social to realize a new level of transactional volume?”

Removing The Middleman, a presentation on moving from the ad barriers to shopping engagement.
John T Unger
One reason advertising fails to make money is because ads are actually a barrier to making a purchase, an extra click between buyers and the desired outcome, a middleman. Learn how to move from embedding ads on sites to embedding shopping.

Marketing and Intelligence

Understanding Customer Culture; Caution: May Require Cojones
Ujwal Arkalgud, Grant McCracken, Sean Howard, Sam Ladner and Paul McEnany
A wealth of knowledge and understanding remains hidden from most marketers today as organizations refuse to acknowledge the need to study and understand their audiences culture. This panel is informed through the collective knowledge of ethnographers and industry leaders who are conducting and executing such projects multiple times a year.

Shopping As A Revolutionary Act?

Tara Hunt and friends.
What happens when “the marketplace” is not a collection of customer fish in a sellers’ barrel, but a truly open space where relationships are genuine, meaningful, and mutual? This is the start of a revolution. The Shopping as a Revolutionary Act panel will look at some of the leading developments involved, where they are likely to head, and what changes these will bring to our economic, social and personal lives.

Let’s Kill Advertising And Start Over, a presentation on Vendor Relationship Management (VRM)
Uwe Hook from BatesHook
With VRM operation on the customer’s side, CRM systems will no longer be alone in trying to improve the ways companies relate to customers. Customers will also be involved, as fully empowered participants, rather than as captive followers.

Startup Marketing: It’s More Than A Twitter Account
Saul Colt, Sarah Prevette, Maggie Fox, Micah Baldwin, Ben Huh, and Krista Neher
This talk is going to cover a few tricks and tips for actually marketing your business from a start up perspective, focusing on questions like, can a non founder be the face of the company, rather than digging into social media.

Predictions, Preferences, and Personalization: Recommendation Engines Grow Up
Erin Richey
A presentation on how predictive technology is currently used in advertising, ecommerce, and social media, and which applications will be adopting personal recommendation engines in the near future.


Seductive Design: Creating Sites Your Users Love
Andy Budd from Clearleft
Using examples from the real world, this session will look at the various tips, tricks and techniques you can use to make your users fall in love with your product or service.

Real Users, Real Connections, exploring how customer connections can help make your software better.
Russell Sinclair, Microsoft
Building great software means understanding your audience. But how do you understand your audience if you can’t connect with them? And when you do connect with them, how do you get the most value out of that connection?

The Big Reveal, how do Web apps work behind the scenes, from marketing to support.
Mike McDerment from Freshbooks and friends.
Attend this panel and go behind the scenes to see how leading sites think about their businesses, and build things to support their internal teams and operations. Whether it’s systems for customer support, sales, marketing, ops, or managing feature requests, come and get sneak a peak of the potions, spells and charms that power your favourite web properties.

Friends With Business Benefits: How Integration Sells Apps
Michelle Riggen-Ransom and friends from Freshbooks, Google, MailChimp and more.
he Small Business Web is now over 100 web app companies strong. Together, we’re rewriting the rules for traditional business development by building the market for small business software through integrations. So how has it not devolved into fisticuffs and mayhem? And why does integration help both the consumers and the vendors who are building the applications? Vote now!

Inspiration and Action

Stop Dreaming, Start Doing: Tips For Execution
Scott Belsky, Behance
Ideas don’t happen by accident – or because they are great. Ideas are made to happen through a series of forces related to organization and leveraging the power of community. In this session, Scott will run through critical insights for any start-up and creative enterprise.

New Technology, Global Citizenship and World Peace
Lovisa Williams from the US Department of State
Global Citizenship is about recognizing we are not just citizens of our respective countries, but also to a larger global ecosystem. Let’s see what the future looks like when people around the world recognize they are part of a global community.

Scratching Your Personal Projects Itch
Cap Watkins, Leah Culver, Richard Crowley
From the designer with zero development skills, to the developer who freelances to fund their own project, to the dreamer who focuses full-time on scratching his own itch. Hear from three people who have each figured out their own unique ways to focus on personal projects while maintaining a full time job or relying on other people’s skill sets to help bring their project to life.

Social and Personal

We Love In Public social dating panel
Melissa Smich and friends.
Social media has made exhibitionists and voyeurs of all of us – how has this changed the dynamics of dating in a socially connected world?

More great panels?

What other great sessions have we missed?
If you have other suggestions, please let us know via Twitter or email and we’ll prepare a follow up post early next week before voting closes Friday, August 27.