Anyone who has been there can’t deny how sweet this next-gen conference really is. Conveniently located in our Portland backyard, I was pretty stoked when I found out that I got in.
“XOXO is an experimental festival celebrating independent artists who work on the internet.”
I often observe human behavior in hopes to better understand. You can’t quiet call it scientific, but it’s somewhere between “observational field study” and random thoughts.
I call it, the “human element.”
Obviously this is nothing new, nothing revolutionary, but it is my take at the world and what I see in it. With XOXO, there were a couple things I noticed that I think help piece together this concept.
1. Authentic interaction
It was very interesting to see how titles and positions slowly faded into the background. I was surround by smart people working for smart companies. This is probably the biggest thing I appreciated about this festival, the ability to authentically connect with other creatives regardless of status and title — at a human level.
Coming from an agency that is on a mission to “humanize brands,” it makes sense to understand how humans connect and engage.
Consumers don’t want advertising, they just want someone to understand them and their struggles.
2. Purpose and Passion
Beyond the interaction and the sharing of ideas at XOXO, I also noticed the pasion each person had. Wow, talk about fire. Everyone I met was a part of some project, doing something crazy. Yes, the good kind of crazy.
You see, I believe purpose and passion both play a big role in this human element concept. A fire that motivates and drives us forward.
As I reflect on that weekend, I’m reminded how important it is to be authentic. Neither creatives nor brands will survive the next generation without authentic interactions, leading to an authentic relationship. It’s simple, but it takes work. Breaking down of the old-school structure and putting it back together in a way that allows healthy growth to happen in an new era.
With so many “new age” thinking around how we live our lives in today’s world, I think it’s important to not lose core components like authenticity, purpose, and passion.