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Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General looks forward to his first SXSW Interactive

Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General looks forward to his first SXSW Interactive
The IPA is returning to SXSW Interactive for the fourth time this year and I decided it was about time I joined the merry throng. With around thirty thousand tech-lovers descending on Austin for five days of mind-expanding content, the significance of this event can’t be denied.

Here are some of the things that have caught my eye.

A presentation on the benefits of going offline is an unlikely idea to introduce at SXSW but it seems that going offline by choice is an interesting trend.

Local Austin boy Robert Tuttle will be talking about how Biometric, motion, and audio sensing can digitally augment live music and enhance the impact of the performing arts. This definitely sounds like something that advertising agencies will be all over.

And I’m hoping that Laurel Braitman’s take on how we can better understand human behaviour by looking at how other animals behave might be full of useful insights.

The IPA prides itself on supporting its members wherever they congregate and for the third year we will be providing an informal support network to the 200 odd UK agency personnel on the ground in Austin. I understand the programme resembles a telephone directory, so it is always useful to compare notes on each day’s experiences and discuss the next day’s line-up amongst friends. To minimise FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and to enjoy some refreshment in the company of your peers, we are hosting a pop-up bar in a central location every evening. Conveniently timed from 6pm as the day’s talks finish, and before dinner plans are confirmed, these gatherings have proven extremely popular.

For the 99% of UK agency land unable to attend, we invite the lucky 1% to share the highlights of each day via – we seek to deliver the key lessons for the UK advertising industry by curating the commentary of those on the ground.

If you are going, I would urge you to let the IPA team know so we can offer support when needed, and provide a platform for you to contribute your experiences and learnings. The first date to put in the diary is the evening of February 27th when we will be hosting a pre-Austin social at

Last updated 07/02/2014

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