Touting 3M innovation at South by Southwest Interactive
Eager to show off its latest offerings and build brand awareness among millennial consumers, 3M is participating in South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, an international conference held in Austin, Texas from March 8-12. This is 3M’s second appearance at the conference, where it’s showcasing its innovative technologies while engaging digital influencers.
“Our theme this year is ‘Inspire Possibility,’” said Glenn Carter, manager of innovation communications, Corporate Communications. “SXSW Interactive draws thousands of change-makers interested in emerging technologies and attracts a lot of media attention, so it’s a great opportunity for us to reinforce the innovation positioning of the 3M brand while highlighting what our company brings to our customers and society at large.”
A more personal touch
This theme is reflected in every aspect of 3M’s presence at the conference, beginning with an interactive lounge space in the Austin Convention Center staffed by 3M employees from Austin, Texas, and St. Paul, Minn., who will serve as brand ambassadors.
Intended as a space for attendees to relax and network with one another, the lounge makes use of several innovative 3M products that engage visitors and enhance the SXSW experience. For example, guests will have the opportunity to interact with the 3M™ Virtual Presenter, a life-like digital avatar with a touch screen interface that will recommend panels and speakers, list conference schedules, and 3M trivia. The lounge also offers the chance for hands-on experience with the 3M™ Multi-Touch Display and the 3M™ Streaming Projector powered by Roku, two products that reflect the interactive spirit of the conference. Next, the Post-it® brand will be featuring its new Post-it® Big Pads in the space, in addition to maintaining a separate presence at the SXSW Trade Show. Finally, the design of the lounge itself will incorporate a wall installation of “Lightfalls” from the Architectural Markets Department.
3M is also sponsoring two branded informational kiosks in the Austin Convention Center that feature the 3M™ Virtual Presenter.
Hot ticket social event
For the second year, 3M is partnering with social media news site Mashable for an evening party. Attendees will be able to have a 3M™ Screen Protector applied to their smartphone, play “Angry Birds” on a big screen using the 3M™ Streaming Projector powered by Roku, or interact with the 3M™ Multi-Touch Display.
Leveraging social media
Because so many attendees of SXSW Interactive are heavy users of social media, 3M is planning to use these sites in creative ways during the conference. 3M is launching an Instagram account for people to discover surprising places and products where 3M technology can be found. Similarly, a Twitter contest asks participants to take pictures of 3M products they see around Austin and share them using Twitter and Instagram. Winners will receive prizes including a 3M™ Streaming Projector powered by Roku, outerwear jacket with Thinsulate™ insulation, notebook computer with 3M films, and a 3M prize pack with multiple consumer products. A photo booth located in the interactive lounge space also gives attendees the chance to share pictures using their favorite social sites.
“Having a strong social media presence is important to us,” Carter said. “It will allow us to connect with the current generation of customers, business partners, and prospective employees while showing a fresh and contemporary side of 3M.”
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