SXSW is my favorite conference/festival/springbreakforgeeks event of the year and has been since 1998 for Music and 2001 for Interactive. I love Austin in early to mid-March.
For a few years now, I have felt that Nokia has missed a big opportunity to reach out to the North American and International web, mobile, gamer, and interactive creator & influencer communities by not participating, attending, or throwing a big open to all badges party at SXSW. Last year Nokia held two private by invite only parties that were kept on the low down, which was completely baffling for a company that is struggling in the North American market, as SXSW would be the perfect place to get all the influencers and bloggers to start talking.
More Text/Write-up/Thoughts plus Links just beyond the jump….
The WOMWorld/Nokia folk spearheaded a movement this year to get some Nokia love happening before, during, and around SXSW by holding a fun contest to win 5 all expenses paid trips to SXSW Interactive. The way they did it was quite brilliant, as about 2 weeks before SXSWi started, the WOMWorld folk dropped hints on their blog and on Twitter that a contest was in the offing.
The competion, #NokiaComp, to win the trip to SXSWi was a three parter, wherein the first part was a completely deep geek fanboy Guess What Phone we have here game on Twitter, the second part was much more open in that anyone could submit a video on why they thought Nokia should send them to SXSW, and the third part was who could get their readers/followers to ReTweet their video enough times to win the trip.
I loved the creative second part where folks got to make a video and showcase their own thoughts and creativity to attempt to win, as it is a brilliant way for WOMWorld and Nokia to get both fanboys and other creatives involved. The first and third were a bit baffling to me, as I am not a hardcore phone geek such that I could guess a mobile from a few clues and I really don’t like the whole retweet for a brand thing that has become popular with viral marketing campaigns.
It was fun to see the folks who won, see below for links, and then to join up with them for several events at SXSWi. As a ((crosses eyes)) 12 year veteran of SXSW, it was fun to see the whole conference/festival through the eyes of mobile blogger newbies. This year was the apogee of the growth of Interactive to become a true 15,000 attendee festival of madness, so it really was the year of the newbie in all the best ways.
Sunday afternoon was the fun day, as the WOMWorld/Nokia folks arranged for the #NokiaComp winners and a few friends to join them on an Ovi Maps Navigation adventure through the streets of Austin on Segways and the Conference Bike (see below). Dan Silvers of WOMWorld NYC spent many hours putting together two routes for the NokiaComp folks to navigate while on the Segways or bike. It was a perfect way to spend an hungover Sunday afternoon as the weather was amazing – sunny, warm, and not humid.
The team I was on was able to go on the ‘Octo-bike’ / Conference bike first and we were able to get it up to speeds of 15mph/24kph two separate times, there was also the nice little downhill roundabout we took two times for giggles. (Sorry, Dan, we deviated off the course for the roundabout giggles.) Afterwards, we switched with the other team went on the Segways, of which I thought I would dislike but ended up enjoying. I am not sure who ended up ‘winning’ the Ovi Maps Navigation race, but fun was definitely had by all.
That evening, we rejoined back up at the Nokia roof party at Fogo de Chao where the WOMWorld/Nokia folks held a Guess Who Game with a bunch of Nokia Booklets and the party attendees. The Guess Who game generated quite a bit of excitement and a yound lady named Alexi won a new Nokia Booklet 3G.
The rest of us got cool swag bags.
Let’s talk swag and kit.
Nokia won for the best swag bags of SXSWi 2010.
One night they gave out white Nokia shopping bags with a cute briefcase style clear travel bag inside that contained a blue airplane blanket, an eyemask, and earplugs. Perfect.
Those of us who participated in the Ovi Maps Navigation afternoon were given beautiful small (read: Booklet sized) brown and green Ovi gortex laptop bags, which contained a Nokia Booklet (hello, #16!), a Nokia battery charger, and a few various bits of power cables and the like. Amazing!
Yes, the Booklet will be returned to WOMWorld after a trial period, but it was great to receive a loaner Nokia Booklet for SXSW as it made note taking during actual conference panels so much easier due to its petite size and ease of connectivity. The Booklet is small and light and easily fits on one’s lap while sitting in uncomfortable conference chairs.
The other bit of kick bootay loaner/trial kit I had on me for SXSW was a Nokia N86 that arrived via James’s pocket. I really wanted to have the best 8 megapixel camera phone in my photo happy mitts for SXSWi, so that I could capture great shots, as above, and get good video.
Basically, between the Nokia N86 8MP camera phone and the Nokia Booklet, my creative/blogging life was made much easier this year at SXSWi. Thanks, WOMWorld/Nokia, y’all rock.
Next year at SXSW Interactive, please hold a big party for all Interactive badge holders as well as making your world more accessible to all rather than just private parties. There are lots of folks who are Nokia curious and SXSWi is the biggest gathering in the world of web designers and developers who just need a little encouragement and education about the big possibilities for developing mobile apps or for the mobile web to the large international market that Nokia represents.
Please keep up with the creative based events. I really enjoyed watching the video submissions for #NokiaComp.
Love, Ms. Jen ;o)
WOMWorld/Nokia on the #NokiaCompt to SXSWi 2010 in their own words:
The Nokia SXSW Competition Winners:
Chris Stobbs won via the 1st Twitter based Guess What Phone game:
Mobile Info : SXSW – Days 1 & 2
SXSW – Days 3 & 4
George, Vaibhav, and Iain won the 2nd round with their videos:
SXSW Interactive 2010 Day 1
SXSW Interactive 2010 Day 2
The Ovi Maps Route Race
Mark Guim won via the 3rd round of video & ReTweets:
SXSWi With Nokia – Photos Recap from Nokia N97 mini
Symbian Pokes at the iPhone During SXSW
Correction: Not really an Octo-bike, but the Conference Bike