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Engaging SXSW for Alcatel-Lucent

March 22, 2010

As a part of our continuing strategy for helping the Alcatel-Lucent Developer program engage with carriers, enterprises and developers, the Open-First team developed, implemented and managed a premium conference lounge at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin Texas (SXSWi).

Called the ElevenAPI Lounge, the theme was a tongue-in-cheek reference to 1984 music “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap in which the character Nigel Tufnel explains that unlike standard amplifiers which range in volume from 1-10, his “go up to eleven.”

An engagement strategy that we first executed for Alcatel-Lucent at Mobile World Congress of asking people to contribute to an “idea wall” was further explored at SXSW, adding the notion of a timeline to indicate when contributors thought that their idea might come to fruition. The result was a strikingly beautiful signboard (which is said to now hang in a senior Alcatel-Lucent executive’s office…)

Featuring graphic facilitation sessions on the future of app development by the wonderful Kelvy Bird, daily prizes for the ALU idea wall and App Idol pitching contest, comfortable seating to recharge and relax and of course happy hour - it became a hub of developer activity and idea creation at SXSW.

This project amply demonstrates a core Open-First principle of market engagement, that organizations must create value and interest for the communities they seek to engage. While we primarily focus on how this happens in digital spaces, often that value and interest will happen in the physical world first and then create a bridge into ongoing online interactions over time.

In this video excerpt Open-First account manager Marissa Root is giving Alcatel-Lucent team member Ross Turk a tour of the room - we hope to see you there next year!

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