SXSWedu 2013

Bringing an Event to Life Through Storytelling

“Remarkably optimistic!”
“Energizing, exciting, full of promise!”
“Brings a new level to the conversation about education.”
“Everyone is going to walk away changed in some way.”

This is merely a small sampling of comments from more than 50 interviews AMS Pictures conducted with presenters and attendees at the second annual SXSWedu conference held in Austin in March, 2012. We ended up with many hours of glowing reviews of the overall conferences experience, including a few people who are ready to declare SXSWedu the premiere education conference in the nation.

It usually takes many years for a new conference to define itself and build a loyal following. This is especially true in the education arena where there are conferences for teachers, administrators, counselors and librarians; conferences on public education and higher education; and conferences on distance learning, instructional technology, home schooling, continuing education, languages, math, science, history and just about any academic topic you can imagine. There are even conferences on how to plan a successful conference!

Remarkable as it is, SXSWedu has already transformed many thoughts of what an education conference can be. Though just a precocious two year-old, SXSWedu is already being touted by some attendees as the most innovative education conference in the country–attracting teachers, administrators, corporate CEOs, policy makers, entrepreneurs, university presidents, game designers, innovators, private and public sector thought leaders, and even the U.S. Secretary of Education.

AMS has been working closely with SXSWedu since the very first conference was just an idea on the drawing board. With year-three planning already in high gear, AMS has created a new marketing video that brings SXSWedu to life–through digital storytelling. The piece, a two-minute video mosaic, blends scenes from the conference with attendee comments about their individual experiences.

“2012 SXSWedu Video”

Our only challenge in creating the video was sorting through an embarrassment of riches to find just the right words and images to make the viewer a part of the SXSWedu world. It’s an excellent example of effective communication accomplished through the artful application of digital storytelling.