Task: Giving Daimler a SXSW
Large organizations dedicate more resources each year to digital and cultural transformation as a result of an identified need to be authentic and open in their innovation efforts. In the same vein, they also want to actively involve their employees and external thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives. But how do you bring all these objectives under one roof and openly demonstrate your commitment to a better, sustainable future? As a multi-year sponsor of SXSW, Mercedes-Benz was now ready to put front of stage their commitment to innovation in mobility, cities, global climate, work, and life. To achieve this, they developed the meConvention, “a future-facing lifestyle event” that was held for the first time in Frankfurt in 2017 during the IAA (International Auto Show). Now, an annual gathering, it has evolved into a ‘future lab’ for exploring major issues and promising ideas for the betterment of society, business, science, and our planet. For their 2017 inaugural event, the events team at Mercedes-Benz and their event agency Liganova needed support sourcing premier speakers, developing new ideas for sub-themes and panels, and a strategy for creating an active dialogue with global innovation communities to drive awareness of the event and get notable innovation influencers in attendance.
Working with the events teams at Liganova, Mercedes-Benz, and SXSW, we provided an analysis of the initial event programming and content framework and highlighted several thematic gaps. We then introduced our recommended programming strategy for bridging different thematic concepts and topics together to complement the broader program goals. Then we put that strategy into action and developed multiple panels such as the On-Demand Economy, which featured our partners Lyft, SkyHi, and Bot.co who discussed the impact and upside of the gig-economy and ‘shared services’. In total, we sourced and curated a group of 14 speakers from our network including entrepreneurs, creatives and thought-leaders to lead panels, hold keynotes and develop workshops.
But what’s an event without the right people in attendance? To rally the innovation community in Germany and Europe behind the meConvention, we worked with co-working spaces, startup organizations, and influencers to spread the word organically and drive excitement for this inaugural event.
Our involvement allowed the meConvention to tap into a larger international community and bring more diversity and passion to the event. By enlisting the participation of our content experts and speakers, the event “felt like SXSW had found a home in Europe”. MCL brought 100’s of key influencers to the event and on LinkedIn alone we garnered 10’s of thousands of impressions of earned media within targeted innovation communities. Michael Reidl from Horizont described it as "...a shift in understanding, that the current upheaval in the industry can be an opportunity rather than a threat. It is about new thinking, putting your feelers out, to reorient, to perceive and start new developments."
Impressions of earned media.
Key influencers to the event.