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Staying Healthy in Conferences

ALERT: Due to the concerns of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the City of Austin has canceled SXSW by declaring a local disaster. (Official City Press Release & SXSW Statement).

Many local events are still on; we are working diligently with partners, sponsors, and the Austin community to continue our support of business and investment. Funded House is proceeding so stay tuned to that link for updates as things are changing so quickly. WE ARE hosting Investors, entrepreneurs, and as much as possible since Austin is still open for business.

Several Austin leaders are working together to salvage local events for the people who will be in town regardless of the SXSW news. A coalition called Rally Austin is collecting information and promoting events that will continue as planned.  RallyAustin.com is up but as you can imagine, changing constantly given changes; we also have rallyaustin.logictry.com  in progress to help you plan for the events that you may want to attend.

Given the work we do, we find ourselves largely online; behind the safety of a screen and browser. And in the work we do, introducing the world to the innovations in media, it is important that we explore how an apple a day of keeping that doctor away could be found in what’s available to us through the internet.

COVID-19 is on our minds; the Coronavirus looming over conferences such as Mobile World Congress, IDC’s Directions, Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference, The Game Developers Conference, and SXSW (still on for 2020 as of the time of this!), plans are changing and everyone should be contentious of their health.

Staying Safe at Conferences

React. Respond, Exit, Aid, CommunicaTe

  • If you see someone acting suspicious or see something suspicious, say something. In the United States, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Know where you are.
  • Look out for others. If aware of someone who needs help, inform a member of venue staff or security, or contact police, fire, or medical personnel.
  • Carry details of any medications and allergies with you.
  • Remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Travel in pairs or groups when walking. If you end up losing your group, identify a meeting point or let someone know where you plan to be.
  • Take a photo or note where you’re parking your vehicle.

At a venue

  • Know where you are.
  • Know at least two exit routes from any building.
  • If an alarm sounds, evacuate immediately. Follow directions from First Responders and venue staff.
  • Do not carry any unnecessary valuables with you.
  • Don’t leave drinks unattended, or accept open drinks, or food products from strangers.

See Something, Say Something. For more information:  https://www.dhs.gov/see-something-say-something.

Staying Connected at Conferences When You Can’t Be

Microsoft, this weekend, is hosting a Virtual Conference.

Just yesterday we shared some of Microsoft’s innovations with, in particular, a mention of some of their work in AI; so seeing Musiio’s Hazel Savage on the schedule for Microsoft Tech Community APAC Online, with a talk about AI in Music, put our minds further to how we conference online.

Microsoft Teams, a unified communication and collaboration platform, is hosting the event and serves as a great reminder that we’ve moved far beyond the Webex conference call, with such platforms offering persistent chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration that enable an incredibly interactive, virtual conference.

But we’re not always able to meet virtually are we? We can look to online media, notably stepping back from heading to Austin next week, still as invaluable platforms to keep us connected.

Mashable, Facebook, and Twitter Leaving SXSW to the Rest of Us

No matter what happens in the weeks to come, we can always still “get together.”

Social media offers solutions we tend to overlook (and rest assured, we’re appreciating the irony of Mashable, Facebook, and Twitter bowing out of SXSW while we’re about to encourage considering them…)

One of the best tips we can offer pre- and as a conference is ongoing, is that you have Twitter open to a List created just for that event. A Twitter List enables you to aggregate people and brands most associated with a theme that you’d like to follow.

With SXSW coming up, here’s a List related that you can follow.

Real time, updates, news, alerts, and tips, from the program and people on the ground.

Facebook is still a very favored platform in business for two reasons in particular: Pages and Events.

While Twitter gives us some real time insight to what’s going on, Facebook remains the platform where we find most people, and where it’s easiest to host a livestream likely to be seen everyone.

Set up for your meetup or event a livestream of the talks pushed to your Facebook Page from you can further share your experience with your friends or a Group.

To experience a livestream of an ongoing conference, make sure you’ve Liked their Page on Facebook

Not quite the experience of a Microsoft Teams virtual conference, a livestream of a panel or keynote, opens a conference to millions at home or in the office. Facebook’s features makes it easy to share, comment, QA, and collaborate online.

Funded House SXSW

One such stream, of the venture capital work at SXSW, will be here; where we’ll also keep everyone apprised of the latest developments. Merely like the Page and you’ll get notified when a stream goes live from the show.

Keeping conscientious of how so many of us will be in Austin regardless of decisions to be made about this show, a big thanks to IVitamin, Ener-C, and the CBD, sanitizer station, and infrared thermometer partners, who are stepping up and working diligently to help keep an eye on our health.

We’re directly involved in SXSW with our Venture Capital focus in Funded House. SXSW is among the most valuable concentration of focus of entrepreneurship, creativity, and capital, in the world, from throughout the world. Given that collaboration and impact throughout the economy, this is on everyone’s mind, and we’re all constantly talking and working with our partners, local, state, and federal agencies, and in particular, SXSW, with the updates from the World Health Organization, to keep safety foremost.

Paul O'Brien

Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O'Brien is affectionately known as SEO'Brien for an extensive past in the search industry. Today as CEO and Founder of MediaTech Ventures, O'Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. More, a regional Director of the Founder Institute incubator and mentor in DivInc, Galvanize, and various startup Accelerators.

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