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June 01, 2017
Posted by: Kristin Hansen, Director of Sales US, Vistatec

Vistatec is delighted to have been involved at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas. Many of the conference speakers travel to this event from all across the world and the SXSW conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, learn, and network.

The event featured a variety of tracks that allowed attendees to explore what's next in the world of entertainment, culture, and technology. SXSW proved that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.

The Father of the Internet

Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and Founder of the People-Centered Internet (PCI), made his first-ever SXSW appearance to provide an outlook on the future of the Internet. Cerf, who co-invented the Internet along with Bob Kahn, had originally worked on a project called Arpanet in the 1960's which became the beginning of the Internet, as we know it today.

Vistatec's Kristin Hansen at SXSW

What started off as an exciting opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas, for the largest and most reputable Tech / Digital / Music event of its kind, quickly turned into a thrilling experience to meet with industry experts, bond with other companies and to host my very first Snapchat channel takeover for @WomenInTech, more on that later! While SXSW is a two-week event, I was focused on the tradeshow portion of the event.

Companies at SXSW

Companies including Allscripts, American Chemical Society, FedEx, Home Depot were well represented. I had the opportunity to speak with many directors, strategists and technical experts responsible for helping their companies be successful in global markets. Some people are just beginning to think about their localization strategy, others are well versed and highly engaged. Major sponsors were visible across each of the SXSW areas and included companies and brands such as Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonalds, The Austin Chronicle, Sonicbids, Pandora and Kimo Sabe Mezcal.

A few of the hot topics of conversation at our booth were around Vistatec's Deep Content solution, people were intrigued to hear about internet scale semantic enrichment and natural language processing technologies that are now capable of being aggregated and composed. This service can discover, analyse and enrich content, utilize public and private datasets, and add value throughout content and data value chains across sectors, countries, and languages. Customers' content will have an intelligence, which will increase its discovery and hypermedia integration and influence global end user consumption and behaviour.

Real-time translation and software GUI localization were additional focus areas of discussion for many, which points to the plethora of apps and technology services being currently developed.

Highlights from SXSW

The International Pavilion of the tradeshow was the location of the Vistatec booth, this was part of the Enterprise Ireland (EI) showcase area. For the seventh consecutive year, Enterprise Ireland exhibited at SXSW as this is billed as one of the largest technology festivals in North America. The 24th annual SXSW Interactive Festival brought together the best, brightest and most innovative people and companies from around the world. This year, Enterprise Ireland proudly showcased eleven Irish companies: Newswhip, Sanctifly, Transfermate, ParkPnP, Intuition, digisoft.tv, Helixworks, Systemlink Technologies, Vistatec, Datakraft and Cogni.

Joining the EI team helped to open many doors and meet with many key movers. One of the other firms joining Vistatec and EI at SXSW to showcase their services included Helixworks, who won the "Most Innovative Tech Startup" for all of SXSW!

EI hosted many additional fun events on each night of the week including a well-attended tech panel. Whether I was walking the show floor or busy talking to people at our Vistatec booth, I had the opportunity to meet a lot fascinating people and held a large number of engaging conversations.

There were book signings, live music, technology, panel discussions, industry talks, and this was only the beginning! "South by" was spread across the entire city of Austin! There were nightly parties and more food trucks than you have ever seen in one location. A particular highlight of mine was attending a Soul-Cycle class Monday morning at 7am!

Women in Tech

Vistatec is a leading global content solutions company who supports and recognizes the importance of wider involvement in the global community. I was delighted to be hosting the @WomenInTech Snapchat channel at SXSW. This is a Snapchat channel for women to discover other women in tech who are also active on Snapchat. It's a place where women can learn, discover, connect, story-tell and get inspired. Every weekday, a different woman from around the world in the tech community does a channel takeover commenting on what she's working on, actively answering questions, sharing insights and advice based on her own experience.

For the @WomenInTech Snapchat channel takeover (say that 10 times fast!) I had the honor and privilege to interview women from all across the SXSW event. These women covered new employees, entrepreneurs, SXSW veterans and first timers. The one common thread that pulls us all together is our desire to want to help others succeed. It's the idea that giving back to one can help many.

Thinking Global at SXSW​

I had the opportunity to connect with so many people and this helps to fully recognize the importance of aligning your global content correctly with your intended audiences all around the world. I am involved in helping many companies work with Vistatec to deliver a solution that suits each individual requirment. Many of the companies at SXSW are looking to scale and grow in new markets and this is where we at Visatatec differentiate ourselves. We have been in the market for over 20 years offering services that help companies to succeed in global markets.

Working with EI at this conference enabled us to further illustrate and elevate the importance of getting your global content right, regardless if you are a music, film, technology, travel, life sciences, manufacturing, or a retail organization. We met many companies who are looking to us to help them take their products and services and create compelling, impactful, high quality target language versions to grow global revenues.

A big shout out to everyone I met at "South by" and I look forward to seeing you again soon! ​