As the official closing night party, SXSW worked with Networker.com to present a power panel of speakers, a full hall of sponsors pining for visitors and the VIP reception for Cocktails with Courtney guests at the Austin Music Hall on Tuesday, March 13th. Before the full-out party started, attendees heard Independent Venture Partner Robin Curle, TL Ventures's Bob Fabbio, 212 Studios' Ingrid Vanderveldt, Grande Communications' Bill Morrow, The Capital Network's David Gerhardt and Knowledge Capital Group's Bill Hopkins speak on compelling topics of the day. Moderated by Austin American-Statesman journalist Lori Hawkins, guests got to see wit and intelligence meet and match up on stage for the hour-and-a-half-long discussion. Immediately following was the party and our reception upstairs.
Sponsored by Korn/Ferry International and Aperian, our guests enjoyed a full buffet and complimentary cocktails for the soiree, overlooking the entire Hall. Korn/Ferry's North American Advanced Technology Practice Managing Director Jim Bethmann and Brad Gray were the dashing hosts as they greeted guests. And Aperian's Alliance Marketing Liaison Maureen Marroquin was the gracious and lovely hostess as she also greeted guests and introduced newcomers and old acquaintances alike. Intel's Wireless Communications Group analyst Patrick Kannar, Hoovers Online's Bill Chambers, RR Donnelley Financial's Thom Singer and Exodus' Scott Rehling were among the guests.
After their panel, Austin American-Statesman Reporter Amy Schatz, Robin Lea Curle and 212 Studios' Lyn Graft came upstairs for a cocktail and to mingle. I interviewed a number of guests, thanks to The Granite House's Dwight Adair and his crew. Meanwhile High Tech Austin Annual's Managing Editor Wendy Lawrence photographed the event for documentation. Niehaus Ryan Wong's Chris Aarons and Amy Kirkland came out to show their support, and I met University of Louisiana's Magdy Bayoumi and Pixus' Max Hoyt, and Lafayette's Chamber of Commerce's Joey Dorel. IBooks.com's Stephen Gannon, beFree's Ellen Trammell and CWC regular The Warren Group's Phil Currie also came up to our elegant little area to schmooze. Dell was well represented with Webmaster Ricardo Guerrero (who attended my panel), Sharon Baelis, Shari Hembree and Diane Hodes. Austin-based Photodex VP of Technology and CTO Paul Schmidt introduced himself to me. His technology is utilized on our sites for picture uploads and organization. With so many talented people stopping by it was hard to catch a breath! But I did, and the soiree ended on a successful note just before Austin-based famed musician Ian Moore took the stage to wow the rest of the audience.