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Geoff Moore

F1 at SXSW 2012

The first day of SXSW Interactive Festival included a presentation by Geoff Moore, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Circuit of The Americas. You may remember our chat with him at Innotech technology conference last year (if not, here's the video). Geoff was back to talk about the science behind F1 racing.

If NASCAR is about speed and power and drivers, then F1 is about precision, engineering and difficulty.

He went past the COTA venue presentation to get into some neat technical details of the sport. The Austin Chronicle was in attendance and posted a great recap of his preso, so check it out if you missed the live event. Geoff also shared some great photos from a recent visit to the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, England, and you could tell he really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes visit.

It was an honor to host the first official F1 Meet Up at SXSW this year. SXSW chooses current issues and topics that are relevant to conference goers and offers a casual networking meet up to foster the conversations. This is another example of how Austin embraces innovation & pop culture on a global scale, particularly during this time in March. The Hilton Hotel & Conference center was the venue, and kudos to them for providing a class act conference setting for not only our F1 Meet Up, but hundreds of official panels, keynotes, presentations and more. It was exciting to meet F1 fans & newbies from Turkey, Spain, the UK, Australia, San Francisco and more. Excitement filled the room as ideas & business cards were exchanged! Thank you to everyone for coming out.

It was also a pleasure to join Social Media Club again this year at SXSW. We spoke with Caitlin Muir, who knows a thing or two about Formula 1 (BTW, 3 cheers for female F1 fans!). Enjoy this video:

Already looking forward to doing it all again in 2013!

SXSW 2012 Recap

//Interactive

This was my first year to truly embrace the Interactive portion of Austin's annual South By Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Festival. It was quite a change for me as the past 7 years I've attended the music portion only, while venturing into a couple Interactive panels last year and participating in the Film portion for our work with SENNA Movie's two screenings in 2011.

For some reason I thought Interactive would be, well, easier - afterall, how much energy would it require to sit in conference rooms all day listening to the game changers of technology and innovation? WRONG! Four straight days of 9AM - 6PM conferences is appealing at first glance, but the work that goes alongside it is what got me: perusing the 112-page "Pocket" Guide to plan (and revise; and revise again) my schedule, coordinating with prospective contacts, Tweeting, fielding emails, scheduling outside meetings, networking, status updating, re-charging (mind, body and devices), and most importantly, transporting, with only 15 minutes between sessions (if you want to insure you have a seat in that session) took it's toll on me. Throw in three straight days of rain and voila - you have SXSW 2012. It was all worth it for the content and connections.

//Transformation

Nokia Lab at SXSW 2012What I really enjoy the most about SXSW is how our city transforms to welcome the world. I extended my evening runs down Congress Avenue and into the heart of the Warehouse and Convention Center districts to see the transformations taking place. On Tuesday night, Nokia was transforming a vacant parking lot across from The Cedar Door into a 3 part inflatable igloo - aka "Nokia Lab." The winter wonderland housed a mix of gadgets, games, good music and fun in the middle of a 70' "Austin winter" day (the rain helped).

Last year, GE built a solar-powered carousel, aka "Carousolar," in the vacant lot across from SIX Lounge. This year, Nike took over the space and hosted a "hackathon" tied into their newest product, the Nike Fuel Band, by changing our iconic Frost Bank Tower into a larger-than-life Nike Fuel Band display, changing it from it's normal blue and white tones into hyperactive red, orange and green tones.

Niek Fuel at SXSW 2012While we realize it may take a few years for our Formula 1 race to transform the downtown Austin area on this scale, these are perfect examples of how Austin embraces social and technological change and showcases it so well in our city.

//Festival Fever

"Festival Fever" Presented by Leadership Austin, KXAN News and 44 Doors

Back in February, Leadership Austin put on a panel entitled "Festival Fever," featuring Geoff Moore of COTA, Hugh Forrest of SXSW Interactive, Jon Roberts of TIP STrategies and Lisa Hickey of C3 Presents. It was neat to hear different perspectives from these community business leaders and their thoughts on how large-scale events impact Austin. More importantly, their comments on planning for future expansion did not fall on a deaf ear. You can read more about the event recap here.

SXSW 2012 Interactive Campus Shuttle Map

 

 

One final note on the success of SXSW: the transportaion logistics utilized during the Interactive portion made it possible to navigate between 14 different campuses in a grid-locked downtown Austin. The shuttle was provided free of charge to Interactive registrants and ran every 5-10 minutes at each stop on the route. There were four different routes and the shuttle drivers were friendly, courteous, and provided clean and classy shuttle service. Hats off to SXSW on pulling this off. Another logistic they have completely nailed down and we hope, for your sake, will be emulated during F1 week in November.

 

 

 

 

Over 17 Million To Austin Annually

An aerial view of Austin's annual Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park. Image Courtesy of austincool.com

Austin City Limits Music Festival + South By Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Festivals + The University of Texas at Austin football games + Republic of Texas Biker Rally + more = over 17,000,000 visitors to Austin annually. How will Austin continue to evolve as an international destination?

Austin's major event organizers and business leaders will address this topic in an upcoming panel hosted by Leadership Austin, titled "Festival Fever." The panel is not free, but it is open to the public and will take place over breakfast on February 7.

Geoff Moore, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Circuit of The Americas, will be one of four panelists discussing the impact of large festivals in Austin. Austin event veterans Hugh Forrest (SXSW Interactive Festival), Lisa Hickey (Austin City Limits Festival), Jon Roberts (Former Director of Business Development for The State of Texas) and Mr. Moore will discuss the pros and cons of being a festival target city and trade-offs between economic impacts and quality of life.

Here's an introductory video to Geoff, filmed at last year's InnoTech Austin conference.

Many Austinites know this isn't our first rodeo, but we look forward to an engaging discussion from festival veterans and learning how to "Keep Austin Weird!" while evolving as an international destination.

Click here to register for the Leadership Austin Engage event on February 7, "Festival Fever."

 

Mid-August Target for COTA


Circuit officials are meeting with Bernie Ecclestone this week in London to discuss progress at the facility.  According to Jonathan Noble of Autosport, several members of the executive team including President Steve Sexton, Executive VP Bruce Knox, Director of Racing Operations Chuck Aksland, and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Geoff Moore.

Geoff Moore was quoted by Noble:

"The race is on. Construction is happening six days a week. The paddock buildings are being topped off, work on the main grandstand has started and we are looking at mid-August for completion."

Details about other discussions with Ecclestone have not been released, though the most promising news in this story is the mid-August target completion date.

The mid-August date gives a three month buffer before the scheduled Nov 18 USGP and an opportunity to hold other events at the circuit.  In presentations from COTA, they have spoken about programming at the circuit to include bike or foot races, smaller racing series, large scale conferences and live entertainment.  Details about such events have been relatively vague since the April 2011 press conference but are more likely to emerge over the coming months with this new target date. Without a doubt, there will be the need to hold an event of some kind before the first Formula 1 race.  I don't think anyone would expect the F1 race to be the first thing held at COTA so we'll have to wait to see what this event will be.

Mid-August is roughly 7 months from today, and though that might seem unattainable, with a 6-day crew going two or three shifts, it is possible.  Over the past month, the paddock building has completely transformed from a foundation into a three story building and the main grandstand foundation is going in as we speak.  Let's hope, for construction's sake, for another dry spring and summer.

Exclusive: Geoff Moore of COTA at Innotech


We recently had the pleasure of attending InnoTech, a conference that brings together bright minds in technology, media, and marketing, and learn more about how innovations in these fields are changing our world.  One of the speakers was Geoff Moore, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Circuit of The Americas, who spoke during about the difficulties of bringing Formula 1 to Austin, and paralleled that problem to his experience at the Dallas Stars Hockey Club

Racing Around in Austin - Weekend Recap

We are very sad to hear about the passing of Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli. You can read more about "Super SIC" and his motorcycle racing career here.

Last Friday we attended InnoTech - a business & technology conference in Austin - and got a chance to speak with Circuit of the Americas CMO Geoff Moore and Manoj Saxena of IBM. We look forward to sharing these exclusive interviews with you soon.

We'd also like to invite you to watch the inaugural Indian Grand Prix with us back at Six Lounge this Sunday. Here are the details:

Photo from Indian Grand Prix on Facebook - click for more

The Austin Grand Prix Downtown Watch Party Hosted by Six Lounge

Sunday, October 30, 1:30-4:30 PM

Six Lounge - 117 W. 4th Street, Austin, Texas

Watch the first Formula 1 race at the new Buddh International Circuit near Delhi, India. We are currently finalizing food and drink specials, and will have Robert DeGroff's F1 racing simulator for you to try out.

You can RSVP on Facebook or just show up on Sunday!