Cerebra takes on SxSW

Cerebra Submitted by on the 6th of March 2015

Over the last three years, Cerebra has rewarded two worthy Cerebrans with a trip to the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. SXSW is a set of festivals and conferences covering music, film and interactive and is widely regarded as the go-to event for digital and social people.

This year, our two representatives are Michelle Kaplan and Jodi Kassel, both of whose contributions to Cerebra over the years have been immense. Michelle has become such a force in client service that she’s been appointed as our Client Service Director. Jodi, along with her client service role, has been building the Cerebra Academy and is set to take it to incredible heights.

The announcement for who will go to SXSW happens at our annual year-end function known as Cerebra Takeover and it always carries with it a lot of anticipation. The tradition started in August 2012, somewhat by accident, when John Beale, our head of strategy at the time, had delivered so far beyond expectation that we wanted to come up with a really big way of saying thank you. Sending him to SXSW is what came to mind.

If it was a good idea to send one person, sending two people would be even better. So, a few months later at Takeover 2012, we announced that Keenan Harduth, head of Cerebra Insights, would be joining John. Like John, Keenan had blown everyone away and was very deserving.

The widely positive impact on both the individuals and the business meant that the tradition became established immediately. At Takeover 2013, we were proud to announce that Reece Jacobsen and Lloyd Wybrow’s outstanding contributions to community management had earned them the honour.

The rule for each person going is simple: have an incredible time. Attend talks, network, party, explore, eat loads and sleep as little as possible – it’s all part of the experience. The trip is a thank you from Cerebra and each person can choose how they want the experience to play out.

There are few things that give us more satisfaction than being able to reward great people for their work. That part of Cerebra’s culture will always exist. The only downside is that we can’t send everyone.

To keep up with Michelle and Jodi’s adventures and to get an insight into all that’s on offer at SXSW, you can follow them on Twitter (@iMichZA and @JodiAnnKassel). And, if you want them to bring anything back for you, you’ll need to ask nicely.