w: C.C. Chapman

SXSW Continues to Have Tons of Value

Tamsen, Kristin and C.C. at SXSW 2013

Fresh back from a long weekend in Austin, TX I know that my inbox and voice mail will be filled with the question of “Was SXSW worth it for you?

The answer is yes.

It is worth the money, time and energy I spent to be part of it and I plan on buying a ticket for next year as soon as they go on sale.

People who focus on “the next great thing” or “the breakout app of SXSW” are missing the point of the conference and have bought into the hype. They’ll most likely leave disappointed and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of complaining posts in the coming hours.

In my mind, SXSW has always been about exposing people from all mediums to different ideas. Bringing together people passionate about all things online, music and film means you are guaranteed to have an eclectic mass of people in one place.

It is also the single best place for business networking for someone who makes a living the way I do. If you work in the online space and create content of any sort, SXSW is a must attend conference.

I went to SXSW this year with the following goals:

  1. Promote Amazing Things Will Happen
  2. Talk to as many people as possible about The Cleon Foundation to get their feedback and to inform them what the plans were.
  3. Find new partners to hire me for content creation and other projects
  4. Spend quality time with Friends
  5. Meet new people and learn new things

Looking at my notes and thinking back, I hit all of them as best I could. Thankfully there were only a few friends I missed seeing, but that is always the case.

A special thank you to the team at Vocus who sponsored and organized a perfect brunch to celebrate my book. Being able to spend time with so many of my friends and fans in the middle of all the chaos was an oasis of happiness for me.


Hallway magic continued to happen around every turn. The variety of people I met is truly amazing and some will become new friends and others new clients. There was a perfect mix of business and quality time.

Sessions were packed and everyone I talked to had ones that they couldn’t wait to see.

I know I missed many that I had planned to attend and look forward to the recordings being posted so that I can hear what I missed.

Being part of the team who helps judge panel submissions, I can say that I was impressed by the variety and the final selection of panels. I hope they continue to add to the diversity in the coming years.

There was a noticeably different vibe this year that I can’t place my finger on yet.

At times it felt smaller, yet there were people everywhere. There didn’t seem to be as many huge brand take overs and yet everywhere you looked there were companies of all sizes pimping their wares.

You get out of conferences what you put into them. My time in Austin was busier than I had planned for, but I don’t regret how I spent any of the time there.

I won’t know if the conference fully pays off for me or not until contracts are signed and work is completed, but I do know I received a ton of value from my fews day there.

Thank you to the Hugh and the entire SXSW team. I can’t imagine how they pull off something on this scale, but they do it every single year.

599 words


14 responses

  • March 13, 2013

    Absolutely my takeaway as well, CC. Oddly, last year seemed like nothing clicked and the year before it was Attack of the Giant Brands. But as you say, the brands are still here. Just in a different way. And it did feel smaller despite it being bigger. I saw many people I new and made some good, new connections. And, as always, it was great to see you! Until next year…

  • March 13, 2013

    Great post CC. I’m sad I missed SXSW this year, but it’s been interesting to follow everyone else from afar. Hope to see you before next year’s SXSW!

  • March 13, 2013

    Nailed it. It’s like you plucked this post directed out of my brain.

  • March 13, 2013

    Hate that we didn’t get to see you this year, but glad you had a great time.

  • March 13, 2013

    Bang on CC. I skipped the most recent two SXSWs. And when I returned this year, it was much different from what I remembered. In a good way. More diverse and better session topics and speakers who really delivered (Go David Weinberger and Douglas Rushkoff!) But the best thing about the conference was the serrendipitous moments with old friends that I may see once or twice a year. Lots of content. Lots of friends. And a good part of my world converging in one city.

  • March 13, 2013

    Last year was overloaded with BRANDS BRANDS BRANDS and I decided to bow out this year. I’m glad it works for you, I *may* give it another go next year if I can swing the money. It costs me about $4k just to show up and get in, and that is a really big expense for solo folks (you are too, so I know you ‘get’ that part).

    I have yet after all these years figured out how to properly navigate and benefit from ginormous events like SxSW. Attending last year I didn’t know anyone to get ‘in’ to any of the super-secret and beneficial small dinner party type of gatherings so I was stuck attending the big (drunk) events.

    People that I knew from before the event as well as people I would have liked to met all seemed too busy to want to talk or grab a drink because they were chasing bigger fish than me. Being at the bottom of the food chain *sucks* at SxSW because everyone is looking for that ‘big break’. When someone like me attends (unlike you that is pretty famous because of your work and your books) – I get lost in the crowds. **Easily**.

    In general I have a very low tolerance for drunken debauchery and since that generally is present 24/7, I honestly get stressed and anxious in that environment.

  • March 13, 2013

    Glad to hear about the vibe this year, C.C. As someone who represents a brand, it’s been interesting to watch how things have played out and how brands are figuring out how to coexist with attendees at SXSW.

    Because so much of the value of SXSW is driven by hallway conversations, networking, reconnecting with old friends and just observing, it’s kind of a hard sell within a brand to say that I have to be there, with all of the other things going on. Maybe I’ll reprioritize next year and see how I can make it happen, thanks to your insights.

  • March 13, 2013

    Having taken the last two years off this year certainly felt bigger than before. I also felt a different vibe.

    It’s funny, three of my favorite memories from this year involved you. I sincerely thank Vocus for throwing an AMAZING bash. I also thank you C.C. for always connecting and inspiring me. You are a great friend. Now move to Nashville already!

  • March 13, 2013

    Good to know CC, thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed and got a lot out of your time in Austin!

  • March 13, 2013

    Absolutely agree, C.C.
    As with everything, it’s what you make of it. I love that you say “hallway magic continued to happen around every turn” – that’s certainly what happened to me too (I even ran in to you and Scott Stratten – the highlight of my trip!!!)
    Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and giving me advice on my book. Even though I ruined last year’s interview 😉 You’re the best!

  • March 15, 2013

    Thanks to the advice you provided in this blog on getting ready for SXSW I have to say I really got lots of value out of it.

    Different to other years I got to meet people at a deeper level and I was successful at explaining what I do for a living with the possibility of them hiring me.

    It was great to chat with you and bump into you a few times. Can’t wait for next year.

  • March 16, 2013

    I was one of those that had to miss your book party (due to an event I had to cover for my sponsor). It was great to see you at AllHat and talk during the week. We’ll see you later this year!

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C.C. Chapman


Sketch of C.C. Chapman by Hey Instigator!There are many aspects OF who I am and what I do. Putting together THIS PAGE is one of my least favorite things to write, because talking about myself is not my idea of a fun time.

When asked what I do my current answer is, “I create, teach and motivate people to do more good in the world.”

Of course, that doesn’t cover all that I work on professionally and personally, so that is why I created this page.

Official bios and head shots can be found below.

Who is C.C. Chapman? I’m a…

Marketing Consultant

With over twenty years of marketing, online media and community building experience I have the skills and experience to help your organization no matter the size. Previous clients have included The Coca-Cola Company, American Eagle Outfitters and HBO.

I focus on social good/impact marketing, content marketing and brand strategy. My favorite clients are NGOs, nonprofits or brands looking to make a difference in the world.

Feel free to double check my credentials on LinkedIn.


I’m constantly writing and always working on my next book. You may have read some of my published works including Amazing Things Will HappenContent Rules or 101 Steps to Making Video Like a Pro.

Freelance writing or citizen reporting assignments excite me.


If I had to choose a style, I’d say my photos are a mix of documentary, travel and lifestyle photography. While I may not enjoy taking head shots, I love to shoot faces. I rarely go anywhere without a camera in my hand and I’ve been fortunate to see my photos on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

I’m currently shooting with a Samsung NX1 and a Chroma 4k Drone.

My photos can be found on InstagramFlickr and 500px.

Keynote Speaker

I’m happiest when on stage educating and inspiring an audience of any size, anywhere in the world.

I have spoken at everything from large international events, corporate retreats and at special gatherings of unique individuals. If you need someone who will inspire, educate and entertain your audience I’d love to chat.

Advocate & Volunteer

I believe in using my skills, time and voice to champion causes that are important to me. I’m especially interested in anything military, dogs or children focused.

I’m currently the President of the Board at Wediko, a member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Board, serve on the board of The Hockey Foundation and recently joined the No Kid Hungry Social Council.


I’ve developed and taught courses for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and Treehouse. I’m also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Bentley University and hoping to do more teaching in the future.


On top of all that I’m a proud life long New Englander who was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now resides outside of Boston.

I married my high school sweetheart, have two amazing kids and love being a dad.

I’ve been online since 1989, began blogging in 2002 and podcasting in 2004.

Previous endeavors I created include Accident Hash, Passion Hit TV, Digital Dads and The Advance Guard.

Tattoos, travel and the outdoors turn me on. There are fewer things more perfect than a well done cocktail, a delicious meal or live art of any sort. I love my GORUCK, Field Notes and am a proud Misfit.

To understand me is to understand that I try to live a purposeful life every day that is full of adventure, love and making the world around me a better place for all.

Official Bio

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller Content Rules and is also the author of Amazing Things Will Happen. He travels the world speaking in front of  audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better.  C.C. has taught classes for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. serves as the Chairman of the Board at Wediko and serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family. Find out more at CC-Chapman.com


Fun Bio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted or enthusiastic creative/strategic partner in the marketing and content creation fields. This greatly hails from C.C.’s unstoppable combination of marketing experience and savvy (which a great many professionals claim to have), and incalculably valuable “on the ground” knowledge and insight as an influential content creator himself (which a great many professionals do not). The result is a best-of-both-worlds mashup of marketing expertise.

C.C. Chapman sports the pro cred to be a talker (working closely with such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO and Warner Bros.), and the passion and gumption to be a doer (creating content for the emerging Online Dad market, marketing professionals, music fans and more). He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals — and has the invaluable good sense to know which outreach strategies work with audiences, and which ones fall flat.

He authoritatively speaks your language. He speaks your CMO’s language. Most important, he’s fluent in your market’s language. It’s a killer double-chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination. Contact C.C. to learn how he can help your organization achieve its business goals. There’s even more to know about C.C. Chapman, if you want to read it — and you should. C.C.’s skills are an embarrassment of riches.


Head Shots

CC-Chapman-Cubelean     CC-AYASummit

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I’m involved with a lot of organizations and clients. I believe in being completely transparent and open about everything I’m working on. I’ll do my best to keep this updated and of course will clearly disclose relationships in any post that require them.

I am open to being pitched and invited on press trips.

Companies do send me items in the hopes that I will review it or share with my community. If you send me something it does not guarantee a review.

With that in mind, my mailing address is:

9 C Medway Road #117
Milford, MA

Current relationships include:

  • Verizon FiOS provides me with service in exchange for a monthly post on technology of my choosing
  • Member of the Verizon Wireless VZWBuzz Influencer Team which means I receive electronics to review and experiences to take part in.


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