Take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this because North By Northeast is finally here. The weeklong festival brings together music, film and interactive conversations, the latter of which runs from Wednesday to Friday and features more than 80 presentations and panel discussions. The full-blown interactive digital conference is on top of an already packed week featuring 780 bands and 40 films. This list highlights some of the more cutting-edge digital conversations ideal for people fascinated with Internet culture and digital marketing.
NXNEi (as it’s known for short) is accessible to carriers of NXNE priority passes, which allow you access to panels after noon. Interactive-only passes are also available for purchase online and can be picked up at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 13
How to Win at YouTube
YouTube is a heavy focal point of conversations this year. This panel brings together successful Canadian YouTube entrepreneurs and personalities to discuss what it takes to win at YouTube. They’ll share their victories, missteps, insights and experiences with brands, agencies and companies that have found varying degrees of success, including none at all! Celebrity YouTube stars abound.
Dating In A Digital World
Romance has gone digital. Who actually phones anyone anymore? This panel features digital dating experts who will discuss — for better or worse — how texting, tweeting, meet-up apps, social media and online dating sites have changed the rules of courtship.
THURSDAY JUNE 14
Punk Rock Marketing: Major-label digital in an open-source world
This presentation makes a case for how major labels can embrace open-source code into their development to find promotional tools and success. Led by Justin Erdman, the manager of digital marketing strategy & production for Universal Music Canada and amped up by Universal senior designer Adam Hare, the two will discuss the perks of punk rock marketing despite limited budgets and time constraints.
The Art of Mobile Photography
Continuing with the theme of shifting roles, this panel will discuss “iPhonography” or “iPhotography,” the genre of photography that has exploded due to the availability of iPhone’s high-quality built-in camera and thousands of photo apps and photo sharing sites like Instagram. The panel will explore how three photographers use their iPhones to dynamically document their lives. They’ll provide tips, techniques and the future of art and technology.
Psychology of Narcissism & How it Affects Brands…
Straight from narcissist bloggers’ mouths, this panel dives into how and why specific content is chosen and debates how brands can use the Internet-famous as promotional tools. What does this mean for the future of marketing and how does it affect online behaviour and buying decisions? The panel warns the front row is for big egos only, but welcomes all Internet culture fanatics.
FRIDAY JUNE 15
underCOVER: How Covering a Hit Song and Using YouTube Can Help You Find Success!
Walk Off The Earth did it. Alyssa Reid did it. Bieber did it. This panel discusses how artists and bands were able to generate success by covering popular songs. The notion may sound new, but it’s really a DIY approach to the American Idol style of fame that is actually working for some performers.
A Postmodern Vision of Media
Has the role of the journalist switched? This panel will discuss if we’ve achieved a “new” era in storytelling where the storyteller adapts to the audience, rather than the traditional reversal. Digital media has made communication two-sided and postmodern media is now a collaborative effort where the audience participates in the narrative. This panel will explore what this means for the media and the new limitations societies construct to “address issues of ownership, distribution, regulation, curation and value.”
Planning for a Post-Web World
When Chris Anderson wrote in WIRED that the Web is Dead was he being prescient about a new world order or simply an alarmist? Is the changing digital landscape creating a world where the web was simply an evolutionary stage? If we are not already, how soon will we see a transition and what will it look like? Apps, walled gardens like iTunes and XBOX LIVE, and platform strategies at Facebook and Google are creating new planning, design and data challenges that seem to reflect this new world. This panel will debate the evidence, explore the challenges and discuss theories for how we can plan to deal with such a future.
Check out our list of top panels for entrepreneurs here.
For a full list of presentations and panelists check out the NXNE Interactive schedule.
Sheena Lyonnais is Toronto Standard’s tech and business editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @SheenaLyonnais.