As previously reported, Bing’s Duane Forrester is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion at SXSW this weekend, called Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better! Also scheduled for that session are Matt Cutts and Danny Sullivan, but Matt Cutts tweeted today that he won’t be able to make it as his wife is having surgery, though he’s going to try and appear by way of Skype.
This is not the only presence Bing will have at the event, however. Microsoft ran down a few ways Bing will be participating at SXSW in a blog post today. Microsoft’s Leslie Feinzaig and Jacquelyn Krones will be in the session Mind Reading: Identifying Needs Users Don’t Know They Have on Saturday. Here’s the official description for that:
When your product is facing serious competition, knowing what unmet need still exists is crucial to planning your next move. But in surveys you find that everyone is reasonably satisfied with all of the key features in your competitor’s products and they do not perceive that their experience could be better than it currently is. So how do you identify opportunities that seem not to exist? In this session, using Bing’s insight development practices as a case study, we will discuss techniques for gaining deep understanding of and empathy with customer’s pain to spur product innovations. We will share insights that we’ve identified that point to broad cultural shifts in how people think about knowledge that impact what is perceived as trustworthy and what is complete information required to make important decisions. We will share both how we were able to identify these needs and specifically what these needs are in an effort to encourage thinking about how to better meet them. This session is sponsored by Bing.
From March 9 – 12, Bing will host the Bing Lot, where the company will show off some Bing Booster startups. Bing Booster is Bing’s program “aimed to help ideas flourish, stuff get built and services grow,” as they put it. It’s a parking lot with food, drinks and announcements.
On March 9, there’s a panel series presented by PSFK in partnership with Bing. They’re also hosting a cocktail party. The event page says:
Working with their partners at bing, PSFK will reveal five key trends which every attendee ‘Needs To Know’: Social-Pairing, Co-Sharing, Me-TV, Sonic-Interface and Gaming-For-Good – key themes you should be on the lookout for as you go through your SXSW Interactive experience.
These trends will be brought to life with statistical data from our partner bing – plus a series of short talks with innovators. Hosted by PSFK’s Piers Fawkes, the speakers include: gaming guru Jane McGonigal, Reece Pacheco of Shelby.TV, Eric Garland of LiveNation, David Jones of Shazam, John Zimmer of Zimride, Daniel Hengelveld of Neighborgoods and David Polinchock of AT&T AdWorks.
Finally, on March11, Bing is teaming up with I Can Has Cheezburger on an event called Keep Calm and Internet. It’s simply described as “a night of memes, music, and Internet magic.” It also promises “super special guests”.