As a new Austin resident, it was a pleasure to have DMAI 2015 in my own backyard where we were inspired to leave the path and blaze a trail. It was another record-breaking attendance year for the conference. I mean it’s Austin – what do you expect?
We teed off the conference at Barton Creek Golf Club and opened it in real Austin style at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater (ACL Live for the cool people). Sponsored by the Austin CVB, it was hands down the best conference event I’ve ever attended. Good people, great food, a phenomenal venue and a killer band. It was only appropriate to end the conference with a battle of the bands, given that Austin is the live music capital of the world. In between, we discussed trends to engage the marketplace, disruption in tourism, the importance of those pesky millennials and of course, saw a lot of live music and devoured a lot of breakfast tacos (shout out to the iconic Cisco’s on east 6th!).
A few key takeaways I learned at DMAI 2015:
1. It’s still all about content and engagement. 248 million people in the U.S. engage in digital content. It is not just about them engaging in content on your site, but also on more nontraditional avenues. Marketing is now much more precise and less wasteful, which bring disrupters into the fold. There is an opportunity to talk about the rocks and pebbles, not just the boulders.
2. Who would have thought someone sleeping on your couch or renting out your bike would be a money generator (couchsurfing.com)? The sharing economy is here to stay.
3. Deeply understanding millennials and millennially-aligned travelers is critical as they are now outnumbering the boomers and will soon dominate the travel space.
As if I didn’t already get my fill, I ended the weekend eating yet another breakfast taco at Torchy’s (truly damn good tacos) and then headed back to the Moody where goth met grunge. That’s right; I capped off the weekend with a performance from Marilyn Manson and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Hope to see y’all in Portland at ESTO.