Seattle Interactive Conference Recap

SIC recap header showing collage of illustrations and black and white photos

The Seattle Interactive Conference is a yearly meeting of creative and marketing minds that takes place in downtown Seattle. SIC celebrates Seattle’s innovators working “at the intersection of technology, creativity and commerce.” The two-day event is designed to inspire connection and collaboration and fuel future projects. 

This was my first year to attend. While many members of the Killer team had gone before, and our CEO, Amy Balliett, has spoken at the event for many years, I’d only gotten as close as the well-designed posters scattered around the city in the months and weeks leading up to the event. When the ticket finally landed in my email inbox, the excitement began.

As the conference grew closer, I pored over the SIC website to explore which topics I was most excited to learn more about, including experience design, interactive design, and modern marketing strategies. Ultimately, my SIC goals were to gain insight into these areas and learn actionable strategies I could bring back to my team. 

But the insights to be gained at SIC are of such broad applicability and appeal that I also thought I’d share some of what I learned here. Anyone interested in visual communication will find it worthwhile to stay up-to-date with the latest innovations in design and marketing.

SIC recap photos
SIC 2019 panel

Day 1 at the Seattle Interactive Conference

With badge in hand, I headed to my first session: “How Experience-Driven Teams Are Key to Delivering Successful Projects.” The panel, made up of team members from Projekt 202, spoke to what characterizes teams that produce successful projects. These characteristics all come back to 4 key factors: communication, alignment, empathy, and respect. 

Between sessions, I attended a meet-up. The meet-ups at SIC allow like-minded attendees to come together and discuss topics and questions impacting them in today’s design world. At the marketing and branding meet-up, hosted by WE Communications, we honed in on the topic of audiences craving visual content. Together, we discussed how to keep consumers engaged in a world that feels oversaturated with marketing content. 

The afternoon kept with a similar theme. One of the most captivating sessions I went to was led by Steve Clayton and Steve Wiens of Microsoft; it was called “Inside Microsoft’s Storytelling Journey.” After sharing the history of Microsoft Story Labs, the speakers focused on what makes good stories

  1. They’re about people. 
  2. They’re personal.
  3. They’re driven by compelling visual elements. 
  4. They take place into consideration. 
  5. They are particular about the platform.

Before the evening’s networking happy hour, I attended a session led by the Killer Visual Strategies founder and CEO, Amy Balliett. The talk focused on a strategic approach to content creation called the Visual-First Method. She walked us through the components of ineffective and effective visuals, and explained the proven benefits of producing quality, custom content to communicate with your audience. To learn more, check out our ebook on the Visual-First Method.

Curious what visual communication can do for you?

Day 2

While day 1 was focused heavily on the components of compelling storytelling, my agenda on day 2 leaned more into the marketing side of things. 

One session that captured my attention midway through the morning was called “Marketing in the Age of Consumer Awakening,” led by Cali Pitchel of Porter Novelli. Cali spoke on the importance of the sincerity behind a company’s purpose in the eyes of their consumer. “Purpose is a promise, [not an ornament],” she said, a “filter for how you make decisions for your business.” It was a good reminder of why we at Killer often lead with the question: “Why?”

The next noteworthy session was about a topic I’m increasingly excited about: experiential marketing. Nashir Rasheed of Opus Agency gave a talk about how to successfully connect your brand to consumers through experiential marketing. Experiential marketing allows consumers to take part in a playful, immersive experience with multiple connected touchpoints that work together to tell a story. In a world that’s increasingly digital, audiences crave relatable experiences that disrupt their day-to-day and leave them feeling transformed.

At the end of day 2, filled to the brim with insight and inspiration, I sat down for my final talk: “IRL vs. URL: The ROI of Memorable Digital Experiences.” This session, led by Ryan Brown of Ceros, spoke to the seemingly endless opportunities that exist within interactive content creation. He emphasized that there are opportunities throughout any customer journey to enhance content by adding interactivity. The high ROI of interactive content is something we see in action every day at Killer. You can read more the value of interactive content on our blog

In the days after SIC, my brain was buzzing with inspiration and ideas to take back to my team at Killer. From exciting ways to enhance the strategies we’re building for our clients to new methods to explore, I feel energized and ready to apply many of the concepts I absorbed throughout my 2-day experience. 

I’d recommend Seattle Interactive Conference to any marketer, designer, strategist, or individual steeped in what’s evolving in the realm of interacting with consumers. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and meet others who are striving to impact the world in similar ways as you are.

Lauren Cunningham

Author Lauren Cunningham

Southern-born and -raised, Lauren Cunningham is executive account strategist at Killer Visual Strategies. Since starting at Killer in 2014, Lauren has managed hundreds of static and motion graphic projects, and continues to grow in her role as executive account strategist. She works alongside the account coordinator and director of client success to build strong relationships with our clients, develop strategies that support their goals, and facilitate communication throughout and across projects.

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