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Suffering from FOMO at SXSW? Check out our ultimate guide to the top events that you won’t want to miss!

March 5th, 2014 by Melanie Peck

Going to SXSW this year? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the awesome events on offer? Don’t worry, help is at hand. Here’s a few wise words from our very own Will Cooke, Chief Word Spreader & Love Sharer here at VAN, on how you can get the most out of the festival this year.

“Here we go. SXSW 2014. A few thoughts, recommendations, tips (and shameless trumpet blowing for #KittenCamp) to help you get the most from the festival…

FOMO – With a couple of days to go my fever pitch excitement is only tempered by the dreaded SXSW FOMO (fear of missing out) which is already creeping in. Ultimately you can’t get to see everything (unless you can find that startup who is offering timetravel via Google glass), inevitably you will find yourself on the wrong side of a door to “that” talk which everyone will tell you they were at. But don’t worry, there is so much going on that you’ll never be too far away from a good talk.

Screen Shot 2014 02 19 at 17.13.33 Suffering from FOMO at SXSW? Check out our ultimate guide to the top events that you wont want to miss!

SXSW Eve - For those at a loose end on the Thursday night, get down to Buffalo Bills on 6th St for beers + shuffleboard in what has become something of a tradition on the eve of the festival.

Find something new - Being inspired and bringing back insight is a huge part of SXSW. But do take the time to go beyond the core social/marketing/keynotes. Finding something new is often a catalyst for a better appreciation of client challenges. For example, we’re looking forward to Gamified Healthcare: Can Nikefuel Save Lives?, which is being presented by Cardiologist Graham Stuart and VAN’s own Ally Stuart (they’re a father + sone duo btw).

Don’t chase the blue stuff - Even by the end of the first day you’ll notice that every available plug socket and charge point starts to resemble something out of breaking bad, with fidgety SX’ers desperately looking to score a bit of power for their devices. Get yourself a portable charger before you head out.

Going off the grid - in complete contrast to the point above, I can highly recommend switching the phone off, and striking out by yourself during the day time. I encountered some of my best talks last year simply by wandering around the sites, and jumping into something unexpected.

Winning the Internet in 60 minutes - Inevitably your interest will get caught by a catchy title. Don’t be fooled, they rarely justify the hype. However while ‘Winning the Internet…’ certainly falls into the catchy title category, as a panel with the Funny or Die team, it may actually offer some real secret sauce tips.

Get up + Get involved - Don’t just lean back for the talks, lean forward and get involved in a workshops. One I’m looking forward to is Megabrands + makers: Democratising Innovation which is being organised by Dave Caygill (Creative Tech Director @ Iris) and promises to be the place to inspire collaborative thinking for clients.

Finally… #KittenCamp @ Hackeny House. We’ve hosted #KittenCamps all over the world, but we’re delighted to be partnering with Hackney House Austin for an epic SXSW meme-tacular. As curators of #KittenCamp, the VAN team will be battling internet king Ben Huh (he of Cheezeburger Famez) in the inuagural UK vs US battle. Saturday 8th @ 7.30. Come get involved for LOLz, creative chatter and beers.

See you at the IPA drinks.

Will & the VAN team.”

January YouTube News – New comments management and updates from Sundance

February 3rd, 2014 by Melanie Peck

Each month we search through YouTube to make sure we’re up to speed with the latest developments and new features available on the site. To save you time, we’ve summed up the main details up for you in an easy to digest document. January’s highlights include;

  • Improved comment management
  • The launch of YouTube Nation
  • New partnerships with Sundance Film Festival
  • YouTube News – Jan 2014 from van_slides