One of our favorite conferences is Seattle Interactive. Not only do we walk away every year having learned a ton, we also have so much fun. And bonus: Last year we scooped up a new team member at Seattle Interactive, which makes its organizer, Brian Rauschenbach, quite happy. "I love those stories. I have a whole bunch of them. I feel like a matchmaker!" says Brian.
According to their mission, "SIC is a celebration of the incredible work happening at the intersection of technology, creativity and commerce. Our aim is to shine a light on Seattle’s best and brightest to give the world a glimpse of what we’ve built."
"We were tired of traveling to Austin (for SXSW) just to hang out with people from Seattle. I'd say 'Oh, there's the social media manager from Nordstrom, there's the whole Starbucks crew, there's all the KEXP people,' and we would end up hanging out with each other," he said. "There's so much talent in-market that we needed to be celebrating it in-market."
Seattle Interactive is a bit more focused and niche than SXSW, but they like to throw in elements of music, art, and culture, with people such as Sir Mix-a-Lot on panels in the past.
The goal, Brian says, is to connect brands that are already in Seattle with talent in their backyard, meaning the region that extends down to Portland, OR and up to Vancouver, BC. People looking for a conference discussing interactive or UX/UI design do come from as far as the Bay Area, Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The affordable price helps attract freelancers, and solidifies a network available to brands that may need them.
Brian describes the programming as Choose Your Own Adventure, with 120+ speakers, 90+ sessions, and showing off flagships brands, such as Starbucks, Boeing, Eddie Bauer, T-Mobile, and Amazon.
This year, topics include:
- What the %#@&* is the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?
- The Neuroscience of Memorable Marketing Content
- User Experience Driven Innovation: What the Future Holds
It was important to Brian that the event be homegrown. He's seen national brands with Seattle chapters do events here, but without tapping into the local market.
"You're coming into market, but if we don't feel like they are programming and tapping the right people in town, if they're bringing all their speakers from their road show, then it doesn't feel Seattle," he says.
If you'd like to get a glimpse, the conference takes place Oct. 16th to 18th.
All photos courtesy of John Keatley.