by Sam Spence
The scenery may be different at this year's Dig South Interactive Festival — after all, it has moved from the TD Arena to Cinebarre in Mt. Pleasant — but with speakers from Facebook, Disney, the NBA, and more, this year's line-up offers plenty of insightful sessions from folks you'd be hard-pressed to find in a room together anywhere else. Here are a few of the sessions we're going to make sure to see:
Gary Vaynerchuk, Opening Keynote
Wed. April 29, 9 a.m.
Since transforming his father's small New Jersey liquor store into a powerhouse online wine retailer and becoming internet-famous for his hard-charging wine-tasting videos, Gary Vaynerchuk has been an advocate of his own brand of business "hustle." The bestselling author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy continues to dish out aggressive social media-based 'grow your business' tips and has worked his way into the brain trust of Silicon Valley.
South by Voice, Eye, and Design
Wed. April 29, 10 a.m.
Always stereotyped and often romanticized, the South has a mystique all its own, and in few places is that more apparent than Charleston. Few are doing more to shake off the ghosts of Dixie than Chuck Reece and his weekly web magazine The Bitter Southerner (See, "Dixie is Dead," March 31, 2015). Reece will be joined by Atlanta marketing vets Megan Oepen and Andrew Payne on a panel moderated by Charleston web designer Buff Ross.
Beyond Food Porn
Wed. April 29, 11 a.m.
Everyone is 'gramming food pics these days while food criticism seems hotter than ever. So, in a world of fleeting friend feeds, how do digital food journos capture the interest of their audience? Local Palate Director of Digital Content Stephanie Burt sits down with food writers, photogs, producers, and local food advocates to discuss how they've worked with some of the best chefs, foodies, and purveyors around to keep their culinary news fresh.
Innovations in Crowdfunding
Thurs. April 30, 11 a.m.
Who better to offer insight on crowdfunding than the guy who raised more than $55,000 on Kickstarter to make potato salad, Zack Brown? At this session you can hear from the man behind the potato salad Kickstarter, as well as John Biggs of technology news site TechCrunch, investor Dan Roselli, and media pro Rob Sebastian. Each one will tell you how to convert your product into big money and take advantage of new paths of revenue.
Get it Built
Thurs. April 30, 11 a.m.
In any business, the ideal moment for a product's entry into the market can be fleeting, but that's especially true in technology. Charleston-based developer Mike Astle moderates a panel on how to develop a product concept without the technical know-how, featuring Yik Yak co-founder Will Jamieson, Charleston development manager Drew Connelly, and Matthew Cook and Jamie Kosoy, the guys from two-person development shop Arbitrary.