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Notes from the Road: ModSquad’s Whirlwind U.S. Tour

ModSquad’s roadshow across the United States was a resounding success, with stops at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. We’re still abuzz with excitement about the great people we met at these shows, the clients we got to spend time with, and the general good vibes we feel when we get the ModSquad band out on the road.

Speaking of bands, we set up shop at SXSW with our retro-inspired ModSquad Swingin’ Mod Lounge. It was a great place to gather by our 1950’s fireplace, mod couches and bar. Rounding out the set was a groovy record player accentuated by copies of our giveaway album, ModSourcing — Live in Austin, complete with a real vinyl record in each album gatefold. Happy recipients were psyched to take home an authentic bit of music history and raved about our fabulous space, which many described as the “coolest” and “most aesthetically pleasing” of the entire trade show. Aw, shucks!

The science fiction geeks among us couldn’t help but be psyched to see Steven Spielberg at the secret screening of Ready Player One, and felt like little kids again when Mark Hamill surprised the audience during Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s talk.

Over in Las Vegas, we set up shop at Shoptalk, welcoming to our space VIPs from the retail and ecommerce industries. It was a lively event with a renewed sense of retail optimism from vendors and attendees alike. The consistent message on the conference floor and in panel discussions was that retail is alive and well. After working through some kinks with new technologies, the industry is recognizing that the future is a holistic environment that intertwines the digital etail experience and the real-world physical store. Continued evolution is the key to growth.

That, no doubt, is why so many visitors were delighted to learn about ModSourcing, outsourcing, modernized. It’s how we work to help retailers maintain their relationships with customers as they expand their digital footprints. It’s always a good feeling to know you’re helping others.

The good feelings continued after the event one fine evening, as Google welcomed us to their exclusive Wyclef Jean concert. At the start of the show, Wyclef noted that the younger attendees were probably Googling to figure out who he was, whereas the (relatively) older audience members could attest he was the real deal. At the end of the night, everyone in the crowd knew that to be true.

While some of us were networking in Vegas, others were hitting the halls of the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, pumped to be part of this year’s GDC expo, where video game developers, publishers, and fans alike rub elbows.

As is the ModSquad tradition each year, we spent time meeting with industry friends, partners, and clients, as well as exploring the offerings on the expo floor. This is where many companies preview their releases for the upcoming seasons. We always have a blast checking out the new goodies. A few notable offerings included:

  • The soon-to-be-released Oculus Go VR headset, an entirely wireless and self-contained system with a $200 price tag
  • OptiTrack’s new active VR system, which sees the user donning a wireless headset and backpack and stepping into a warehouse-scale VR environment with up to 20 other players
  • The Indie Megabooth, with its collection of smart and witty new games. It’s great to see such a wide range of offerings, which just solidifies this as the second golden age of video games.

In all, it was a whirlwind tour, populated with familiar faces and great new friends. We had a blast, and to all who met up with us along the way, our thanks. Where will ModSquad go next? To find out when ModSquad’s tenacious travelers will be in your neck of the woods, just keep an eye right here on the ModSquad blog.

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