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About Shawn

Working for 14 years as an event producer and strategist for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, I am now exploring new adventures while consulting via my creative strategy lab, Apostrophe Industries.

While I didn’t know it at the time, my journey into technology began with a guitar. I grew up performing and touring with various indie bands (the most well-known of which was American Analog Set, while the most recent endeavor was The Paper South). The process of creating music and promoting bands led me to fall in love with emerging digital technologies and design. After my tenure as a musician and audio engineer in the ’90s, I finished up my Radio-Television-Film degree at the University of Texas at Austin — focusing on convergent media in the innovative and unconventional Advanced Communications Technologies Laboratory (ACTLab) before joining the SXSW team in the year 2000.

I occasionally speak at business, tech and design events across the globe and have presented at The Austin Forum, C’n’B at c/o Pop, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Futur en Seine, Ignite Austin, MTO Summits, TEDxBoulder, WebVisions, Wired Italy’s Smart People & Smart Cities and more.

When not working as a consultant, I like to spend time with my family, talk about fonts and race my bicycle around the block.

Experience Highlights

South by Southwest, LLC

SXSW Interactive Festival Producer and Strategist // 2000 – 2014

Delivered strategic insights and creative direction to grow SXSW Interactive into one of the premier international technology events, dramatically increasing overall conference quality, revenue and attendance to over 30,000 participants

Spearheaded marketing efforts for SXSW Interactive, as well as overall company social media strategy and internal policies to foster record levels of community engagement

Built conference programs, collaborating with high-profile talent and top digital influencers to speak and perform at the event

Led company-wide convergence team and initiatives, managing staff and intersection of SXSW Music, Film and Interactive conferences

Represented company in interviews with sponsors, press and media outlets such as the BBC, Fast Company, The New York Times and Wired

Evangelized core values and shared industry insights at speaking engagements around the world, presenting at The Austin Forum, C’n’B at c/o Pop, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Futur en Seine, Ignite Austin, MTO Summits, TEDx, WebVisions, Wired Italy’s Smart People & Smart Cities

Managed company branding and identity projects for 2004 – 2014 conferences and festivals, working with leading-edge
designers, artists and agencies from across the globe

Co-founded SXSW Create in 2012, the maker micro-event within SXSW that showcases tech creativity and DIY culture

Worked as project lead and programmer on numerous web design and development projects, including annual website redesigns and an information architecture overhaul to core web presence in 2008

Co-developed and launched the innovative SXSW PanelPicker in 2006, a crowdsourcing platform that enables the online community to program conference topics and content

Co-founded ScreenBurn at SXSW in 2006, a pioneering video game and virtual worlds component of SXSW

Coordinated the SXSW Interactive Awards Competition and Ceremony, growing participation and revenues by 300%

Apostrophe Industries, LLC

Consultant & Creative Strategist (Freelance) // 1999 – Present

Advised early startups on business plans, roadmapping and creative strategy

Developed digital business solutions and social media plans for a wide range of clients

Provided creative direction and deliverables, specializing in brand identity, web standards and user experience

Produced live mobile blogging and online media coverage of special events in the bike industry

Invid Productions

Co-founder // 1995 – 1999

Started multimedia production cooperative in the “Live Music Capital of the World”

Projects included web consulting with Austin-based startups, audio & video production for live television

Five national tours as a sound engineer and performer