Brian Wallace at SXSW in LinkedIn Studio

LinkedIn jumped into the spotlight at this year's SXSW with a creator lounge called The LinkedIn Studio. Amidst the chaos of SXSW, The LinkedIn Studio was something of a tranquil oasis. But this was far from the only presence LinkedIn had at the conference this year. From LinkedIn Live to #LinkedInLocal, there were more opportunities than ever to use LinkedIn to maximize your time at SXSW.

The LinkedIn Studio

Goldie Chan speaks inside The LinkedIn Studio at SXSW
PHOTO: Brian Wallace

Goldie Chan speaks inside The LinkedIn Studio at SXSW

The gentle aesthetic and design choices of the studio gave visitors a break from the hustle and bustle just outside, cultivating an inclusive and welcoming environment. But this was more than just a photo op and a place to rest one’s feet — The LinkedIn Studio had much more to offer.

Networking is a crucial part of SXSW, but so few people utilize all the tools available to them to make it effective. That’s why The LinkedIn Studio was such a slam-dunk. Attendees were able to get a “Rock Your Profile” consultation, get a new headshot for their bio, and attend relevant talks about developing their careers. In addition, it was a great place to meet up with your established LinkedIn contacts as well as make new ones.

Among the presenters were analyst Brian Solis, social media strategist Goldie Chan and actress and producer Mindy Kaling. Chan, who is known on LinkedIn for her brand management insights, talked about managing your brand’s online reputation. Solis, who has a new book out called "Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life" talked about productivity and work/life balance.

The space’s headliner was Mindy Kaling of The Office and many other hit television shows. LinkedIn’s Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Rosanna Durruthy, led the fireside interview in The LinkedIn Studio. Kaling spoke about living your best life at work, which includes owning who you are, realizing your actions matter more than you think, and focusing on focusing.

LinkedIn’s Anthea Ip in the Rock Your Profile station
PHOTO: Brian Wallace

LinkedIn’s Anthea Ip in the Rock Your Profile station

Related Article: Are LinkedIn's Groups Worth Your Marketing Resources?

LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Live just a few weeks before SXSW by invitation-only to select users. Live video is something LinkedIn users have been clamoring for ever since LinkedIn began to support video posts in 2017, but LinkedIn has been cautious to roll this out according to TechCrunch because it wants it to fit with the overall mission of LinkedIn: professionalism.

LinkedIn Live is set to bring more traffic than ever to the professional social media hub. As one of the most requested additional features, LinkedIn Live offers a new level of interactivity, real-time comment features for Q&A or interviews, and more options for users to see the kind of valuable content they are looking for. We witnessed a few livestreamers such as Chan and career coach Tim Salau feature this new technology at SXSW.  Companies like Switcher Studio are partnering with LinkedIn to make this happen. We're hoping to have a beta invite to stream live in our accounts soon.

#LinkedInLocal

LinkedIn Local meet up at SXSW

#LinkedInLocal SXSW hosted by Brian Wallace and Miranda Rose Lozano

A great way to get all of your online friends together at big events like this is to host a #LinkedInLocal event. Rather than having everyone try to arrange separate meetings, which can turn into a logistical nightmare, set aside a time for everyone to meet up together. This gives you time to meet with your online network in real life, while also giving everyone the opportunity to meet an extended network of friends-of-friends. There are also often special geofilters and stickers available for those who post at #LinkedInLocal events.

Related Article: How LinkedIn Local Changes the Face of the Professional Network

Find Nearby and QR Codes Save the Day

Ran out of business cards? Can’t get everyone’s contact info in a larger group quickly enough? No problem. The Find Nearby function helps you find people you may already be connected to on LinkedIn who are also close by, a function that is worth its weight in gold at crowded events such as these. QR codes also help you find the right person on LinkedIn at such events.

LinkedIn rocked SXSW this year, both solidifying its necessity as a networking tool for serious professionals as well as solidifying SXSW’s utility as a place to go for serious business.