Take Your Pick: T3 SXSW Panels

by Ben Gaddis

SXSW is just around the corner (more or less), and we’re hoping to share the stage this upcoming Spring with some influential figures. We’ve put together a quick recap of our panels. If any of these topics stand out to you, please vote for them in the PanelPicker linked on each panel, and don’t forget to share with your networks on social media!

SXSW is just around the corner (more or less), and we’re hoping to share the stage this Spring with thought leaders from brands like UPS, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, ATTN: and Spredfast. Explore recaps of each PanelPicker submission below, and vote for any topics that stand out to you.

How to vote:

  1. Click on one of the panel links below
  2. Create an account/Log in 
  3. Click the thumbs up icon under “Cast Your Vote” 
  4. Bonus: Leave a comment and share on social media

Trump and Dump: Embracing Irrationality

Twitter has become weaponized by an unlikely user: the American president. T3’s response: Trump and Dump, the world’s first Trump-fueled automated stock trading bot that fused social monitoring and sentiment analysis to generate data that triggered stock trades. The bot’s algorithm outperformed the S&P 500 by 675% with profits donated to charity. How did this come to life? It’s an example of “irrational thinking” that let a T3 team create an idea in days, leveraging years worth of AI work for global clients. It may seem as if Trump and Dump was a bolt from the blue. Instead, it was a team retraining its brains to challenge constants to unlock greater innovation. In this workshop, learn how the process of embracing irrationality can be applied across organizations to accelerate innovation.

With featured panelists Ben Gaddis, President of T3 (@bendgaddis) and James Lanyon, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at T3 (@jklatx).

Be Yourself: How to Stay Relevant with New Audiences

Brands are under pressure to connect with younger audiences. But that connection must be genuine and expressed in ways that younger audiences appreciate (think YouTube, Instagram, Bumble, etc.). To do this successfully, brands need a deep understanding of who they are as a brand and who their audience is. Because younger audiences can smell BS a mile away, it’s important that brands know how to craft relevant content that’s true to who they are. Learn more about capturing the attention of a distracted, hard-to-get generation with brand-building expert, Jill Thomas, VP of Marketing at Cinnabon.

With featured panelists Jill Thomas, Vice President of Marketing of Cinnabon (@JillThomas26) and Bonnie Rohan, Associate Creative Director at T3 (@bonlenz).

It’s About Values, Not Product

To truly connect with audiences today, brands are going beyond simply marketing their products to tell authentic, heartfelt stories that make people feel something real. It’s working. Why? Because they’re telling stories that make people care. Hear four experts in digital storytelling discuss how to create brand content that makes people care, and learn where they see this trend going in the future. The panel includes storytelling experts from entertainment, media, brand and advertising.

With featured panelists Betsy Wilson, Vice President of Customer Communications at UPS (@bsp8wilson), Brad Haugen, Partner of ATTN: (@hoogs), and Aaron Cacali, Group Creative Director at T3, (@AaronCacali).

Claiming an Audience all Your Own 

In a crowded, noisy category, it’s no easy task for a brand to stand out meaningfully. You can try to differentiate in what you say and how you say it, but if you’re blasting the same audience as all of your competitors, you’re just wasting media dollars and adding to the noise. Alan Magee, Director of Brand Marketing at Moe’s Southwest Grill, shares the recipe—equal parts science and art, for driving valuable business results through staking claim to an audience all your own.

With featured panelists Alan Magee, Director of Brand Marketing at Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Caitlin McDaniel, Associate Director of Connections at T3 (@caitcmcd).

Return on Inclusion: Generations of Women at Work

McKinsey & Company found that companies were 56% more profitable when women held executive positions. Stanford found that 57% of women leave the workforce. How can we reconcile these two facts? How can we shift the trajectory of the future? This panel of professionals in their 30s, 40s, and 60s will take a generational approach to these questions and more as they explore topics around the value of gender diversity, why empowering women matters, and how each generation is uniquely suited to effect change.

With featured panelists Sarah Moore, VP of Brand and Revenue Marketing at Spredfast (@sedmoore) Gay Gaddis, Founder & CEO of T3 (@GayGaddis), Rachel Jamail, Site Lead at Facebook (@racheljamail), and Sara Bordo, Founder, Director, Producer for Women Rising (@bordo7272).

The Bias In the Room: Making Tech Truly Diverse

Technology companies are experiencing growing pressure to diversify their workforce which is predominantly male (75%), white (70%), and Asian (20%). Tech giants like HP, Amazon, IBM, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google are leading the charge, demonstrating their commitment to diversity and inclusion by improving their recruitment and developing programs and initiatives to drive change. Featured panelists will lead the discussion about diversity in the workplace, exploring ways in which leadership teams and employees alike can identify and address bias and unfair recruitment and workplace practices to create a more inclusive environment.

With featured panelists Matt Stephenson, Founder and Executive Director of Code2College (@MC_Stephenson ‏), Ada-Renee Johnson, Head of Sourced Staffing Channels, Tech at Google (@AdaReneeJohnson ‏),  Sarah Derocher Moore, VP, Brand & Revenue Marketing at Spredfast (@sedmoore), and Gay Gaddis, Founder & CEO of T3 (@GayGaddis).

Cultural Appropriation vs Cultural Appreciation   

The industry has talked about the blurred lines between appropriation vs. appreciation but who has the experience and leadership to make the final call on what is culturally relevant or insensitive in advertising? Is it the creative director? Brand manager? The viewer? Who makes the call that the Asian neighbor cast in a beer ad isn’t “the token”? Who decides if a script is bringing to life a harmless trope or a harmful stereotype? Are diverse industry leaders the antidote to culturally insensitive or appropriating work? Is that responsibility even fair?

With featured panelists Angela Yang, Director of Connections at T3 (@AngelaCYang), Tanya Tarr, Vice President of *advantageSPRING (@nerdette), and Chas Moore, Executive Director of the Austin Justice Coalition (@iGiveYouMoore).

The Science of Avocado Toast

Just as innovation is disrupting how we shop and what we shop for, it’s also disrupting how we eat, what we eat, where we eat and when. Tech coupled with our instant gratification culture drive how we discover food trends, how brands and marketers bring them to market (pun intended) and how we, as consumers, adopt them. Join a panel of restaurant and tech industry leaders to understand the business of food and service and how brands will win and fail in a new world order while getting a glimpse of the next rising trend from one culture to another through the palette.

With featured panelists Nadia Chaudhury, Editor at Eater (@nadiachaudhury), Stephanie Raddock, Sr. Social Media Strategist at T3 (@raddical), and Jessica Wu, Partner | Lotus + Cleaver. 

Where are the old People? Work After Agency Life  

Where are all the old people in agencies? Where do they go? What do they do? What happens when you run out of millennial magic? This is a panel exploring the answers to these questions from people living beyond agency life. Look around your company’s office. Gray hair is almost non-existent. When you reach the midpoint of your career, it’s seemingly more difficult to understand where you’ll be when the only option looks like one of two C-suite positions that you don’t exactly want. How do you cope? How do you shed your own baggage? How do you find new ways to add value in the work you are doing and in the people who work with you?

With featured panelists Ashley Lapin, Creative Director at T3 (@smashvienna), Iva Zugic, Senior Art Director at T3 (@ivaz), and Jay Suhr, Chief Creative Officer at T3 (@jaysuhr)

Mental Health in the Ad Agency

According to the American Psychology Association, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Looking at the creative industry, we can wager that this percentage is much higher. In addition to the deadlines, expectations and general stress of the industry, we have creative people who, studies show, are more likely to suffer mental health issues than non-creatives. How can people in creative professions living with mental health challenges be successful in an inherently chaotic environment? We’ll speak with three people who bring different perspectives to the conversation, including a creative professional, psychotherapist, and a marketing agency executive who are responsible for people, culture and healthcare benefits.

With featured panelists Leah Heck, Executive Director of Internal Development at T3, Mary Beth Shaffer, M.S., M.F.A., Eastlake Counseling, and Annie Markovich, Copywriter at T3

Career Hustle, Not Side Hustle  

In recent years, the “side hustle” went from being “a thing” to the thing you need to feel fulfilled with your work life, but holding down two gigs can be taxing, no matter how deep the passion. Let’s think about strategies for turning our 9 to 5 gig into our hustle. To recraft a career into something that inspires your days rather than stealing your nights. Join our conversation with an array of young professionals who forged such a path, creating better balance in their life while nurturing their inside wanderer—turning the side hustle into the career hustle.

With featured panelists Nicole Chavez, Senior Art Director at T3 (@ThinkChavez ) Mike Vosters, Partner/ VP of Product for The Elephant Pants (@vosters), and Chris Wooster, Executive Creative Director at T3 (@chriswooster ).

Video Marketing 101  

From choosing a non-diverse cast to not tagging your YouTube channel correctly, a lot of brands miss the mark when it comes to using video in their online marketing strategies. Most brands feel that when you hit the mark it’s a great investment, but when you don’t, it’s a waste of money. This panel will talk about what brands are doing wrong in their video marketing strategies and what the future of using this medium looks like. What is the future of VR and AR? Should I host my videos on YouTube or Vimeo? Why do people keep saying my video content isn’t dynamic? This panel will explore ways you can waste less time and money when choosing to include video content in any of your marketing strategies.

With featured panelists Caitlin McDaniel, Associate Director of Social Media at T3 (@caitcmcd) Simon Quiroz, Lecturer and Filmmaker (@simonquiz), and Via Bia, Director (@viadear). 



Ben Gaddis

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