Registration for the 2016 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Tex., is now open, and more than a dozen big-name speakers have already been announced, including marketing wunderkind Guy Kawasaki, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, Maxine Williams.

SXSW is an annual convergence of technologists, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and filmmakers. It’s a forum for the exchange of innovation and forward-looking ideas. The festival regularly attracts an impressive roster of speakers, and two of our New Relic employees, Baxter Denney and Stevan Arychuk, are hoping to bring their own exciting presentations to SXSW in March—but we need your help to get them there!

Online voting is now open

The SXSW community has the ability to vote online for the talks they want to hear most. The community voting period runs from Aug. 10 through Sept. 4, 2015—the first programming for the 2016 SXSW Festival will be announced on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015!

In order to vote, you need to sign in or create a quick SXSW account, which takes just a few minutes. You can also sign into the SXSW PanelPicker using your Facebook profile.

Read overviews of the proposed talks from Baxter and Stevan below, and cast your votes today:

Your Customers Know You’re Faking It

baxter denney: SXSW candidatePresented by Baxter Denney, VP of Online Marketing & Marketing Ops at New Relic

Many companies talk about being customer-centric, authentic, and having a “special” brand. While they often have lofty visions, sometimes the actual customer experience doesn’t measure up. So how do you build and represent a brand without coming across as a fraud? In this session Baxter will illustrate how a culture of authenticity trumps advertising and how you can apply these lessons to your business or idea.

Baxter Denney is a digital marketing native, having cut his teeth at Corporate Executive Board before serving as a marketing consultant to the GOP and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then he has worked on the client side in marketing operations and demand generation roles at Citrix and Couchbase. He currently manages the demand gen, customer lifecycle, and marketing ops teams at New Relic.

Vote for Baxter’s talk >

Product Manager Therapy: How to Be an Awesome PM

stevan arychuk: SXSW candidatePresented by Stevan Arychuk, Sr. Product Manager at New Relic

Product management in software companies can be tough. For a long time Stevan thought he sucked at it only to discover that others thought he was doing a great job. So he spent a lot of time thinking about that gap in perception, and spoke with other PMs to learn more about their career path and hear their stories. In this talk, Stevan will share what he learned from these “therapy sessions” to help other product managers become (or realize they already are) awesome at what they do.

Stevan has been a product manager at companies of all sizes—including HP, Wildfang, and New Relic. He’s active in the product management community in Portland, Ore. He mentors new PMs planning a career change and helps onboard new PMs at New Relic.

Vote for Stevan’s talk >

Help send Baxter and Stevan to SXSW!

If you’d like to opportunity to hear these cool talks at next year’s SXSW Festival, we need your help to get Stevan and Baxter down to Austin. Head on over to the voting page and cast your votes.

Hopefully, we’ll see you at the festival next March. Look for the New Relic T-shirts, possibly with BBQ stains on them.

Keep Austin weird … and SXSW nerdy!


Austin bridge image courtesy of

David Gaule is an editor at New Relic. Prior to joining the company, he served as senior editor for Way back in the days of paper books, David held positions at HarperCollins Publishers and Little, Brown & Company. View posts by .

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