Volusion at SXSW Interactive 2013: Top 10 Sessions for Entrepreneurs

It’s SXSW time here in Austin! Headed to the conference? Discover where you can say hi to the Volusion van during SX Interactive, and find out which can’t-miss Interactive sessions we recommend attending.


It’s that time of year… the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the spring breeze is blowing gently through the budding trees, the airfare to Austin has skyrocketed… must be SXSW once again! Not familiar with this event? South by Southwest occurs every March in our hometown of Austin, Texas, and prides itself in being “the premier destination for discovery,” with events, panels, readings and more designed to foster creative and professional growth for those in the technology, film and music industries.

Headed to Austin for SXSW Interactive this year? Come say hello to us! We’ll be cruising the streets of downtown Austin in our unmistakably orange van, giving out some sweet Volusion swag and maybe even some startup help for intrepid entrepreneurs.

Want to meet the team? Here’s where you can find us:

Friday, March 8th : 11:00am – 4:30pm
Locations:  5th Street/6th Street and Trinity

Monday, March 11th : 11:00am – 4:30pm
Locations: SXSW Startup Village, Austin Convention Center, 5th Street

Tuesday, March 12th:  11:00am – 4:30pm
Location: Red River, Trinity, and San Jacinto



Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@volusion) to get the latest on where we’re headed throughout the day. We’ll be using the hashtag #sxswagon to designate our SXSW-related Tweets. Don’t miss your chance to score some swag and maybe even get your photo taken with the van!

As far as SXSW Interactive sessions are concerned, there are tons that sound absolutely riveting! We were glad to see that ecommerce and mobile were featured in a good handful of sessions, and of course it was no surprise that social media received a large piece of the pie this year as well.

Here are our top ten recommendations for SXSWi 2013 sessions – pick your favorites and let us know what you learned!


Brands, Bloggers, and the Social Commerce Future
Monday, March 11th. 12:30PM-1:30PM
BlogHer CEO and co-founder Lisa Stone leads this session to define social commerce, what works, what doesn’t and why, with key takeaways for brands looking to employ social commerce.


Mobile Saturday: Retail is Going Mobile
Saturday, March 9th. 3:30PM-4:30PM
Retailers are moving from showrooming fears to actively engaging mobile consumers to win their business in and out of the store. This shift is creating new behaviors and trends as well as a whole new crop of M-Commerce best practices. Learn how companies are taking action to drive mobile commerce today, instead of waiting for the elusive mobile wallet to appear.


Reputation as a Currency: Is the Resume Extinct?
Tuesday, March 12th. 12:30PM-1:30PM
In this session, TaskRabbit’s Founder and CEO, Leah Busque, will discuss how we’ve come from the age of credit -— which transformed commerce — to the age of social capital, which is fundamentally changing the way we think about markets, power, online connections and personal identity.


Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work
Sunday, March 10th. 1:30PM-1:50PM
This is one of the most exciting times in the history of work, especially for anyone entering the workforce. We’ll discuss how the current workforce mentality is broken, how we can transform work in the age of entrepreneurship, and share personal experiences to help illustrate how we can adapt to working.


Addicted to Mobile: The New Cigarette
Monday, March 11th. 5:00PM-6:00PM

In many ways, mobile is the new cigarette. Doug Grinspan of Say Media, in conversation with Jeremiah Zinn of Viacom, will explore the shrinking divide between screens (TV, desktop, tablet, mobile), noting how media consumption and commerce habits have changed.


The Rise of the Planet of the Creatives
Monday, March 11th. 5:00-6:00PM

This panel brings together founders of ecommerce platforms, a social-media director of product, and a photographer who has utilized these tools to discuss and debate the class of independent creative professionals, what’s working now, what’s missing and where to go from here.


Professions Go Social
Saturday, March 9th. 11:00AM-12:00PM

New profession-based social networks have emerged that extend B2B social networking beyond LinkedIn. These vertical social networks combine online communities and business software to help everyone from accountants and IT professionals to doctors and engineers rethink the 9-to-5 workday.


Does Social Marketing Even Work?
Saturday, March 9th. 5:00PM-6:00PM

Let’s get out of the echo chamber of everyone telling each other how important social media is for a little bit and talk about the problems with social. If we’re honest, it’s hard to tell what actually works and what doesn’t. I’m not sure anyone has the “answer” to this. Instead, please come prepared to be open and honest about the state of social. Maybe we can get closer to the answer together.


Real Talk: The Social Customer Service Shift
Saturday, March 9th. 5:00PM-6:00PM

This panel will give you the straight dirt on how to turn your social service theories into real customer service practice. Learn strategic and operational lessons from social media and customer service leaders from Southwest Airlines, Samsung, JPMorgan Chase and Comcast. Get real-world insight on how these individuals are helping people and defining new ways to listen, engage and assist their customers.


The Rise of Re-Commerce: Shop Used in a New Way
Saturday, March 9th. 12:30PM-1:30PM

Resale’s time is now, and new Internet startups are stepping up to the plate, meeting consumer demands with innovative twists on an age-old industry. The “re-commerce” market is defined by the recovery of product through online distribution channels. We’ll explore the growing consumer need for resale and the challenges tied to building these platforms online.


Have an awesome SXSW, everyone – to those of you who are visiting Austin for the first time, we hope you enjoy our fair city as much as we do. Can’t wait to see y’all out there!

Happy selling!
– Emily Teachout, Volusion


Emily Teachout was a Social Media writer and professional. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Communications and a specialization in Technology & Society, and has managed social media campaigns for brands across multiple industries. In her spare time, Emily blogs about Austin’s culinary and entertainment scenes – in fact, she attends over 100 concerts per year.

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