“Millennials are often characterized as fickle job-hoppers who show little interest in their work,” a recent article from AdWeek noted, “but they actually care more about professional development than previous generations.” Lucky for us, Intouch is committed to providing professional — and personal — development: this month is Mindfulness Month at Intouch! In addition to regular on-site offerings like handling difficult conversations, conducting productive meetings, and writing compelling copy, we also occasionally have opportunities to attend industry-related conferences. One such conference is SXSW Interactive, which Intouch has been attending for several years.

This year, as we reflect on insights from the conference, an unexpected one stands out … it’s about remembering to make time for gratitude. And now more than ever, when it feels like we’re always on, reminding ourselves about the good things may just be the cure for burnout.

So, with this in mind, Intouchers who attended SXSW 2018 put their gratitude into words.

Allie Golden, Associate Creative Director
To have the privilege of attending SXSW with my coworkers was really a dream come true. Sounds cheesy, but my thirst for inspiration never grows dry. What better way to feed inspiration than at one of the world’s largest gatherings of tech thought leaders and innovators? Where else can you be inspired by a PhD in human-centered design (Melis Senova), a Belgian psychotherapist (Esther Perel), an actress, writer, producer, and director (Lena Dunham), the chief medical officer of Samsung (Dr. David Rheu), the Chief Innovation Officer at UPMC (Rasu Shrestha), an EVP of innovation and media (THE Justin Chase), and finally a holocaust survivor (Pinchas Gutter)? We captured their stories, and many others.

Thank you to our Intouch leaders for encouraging us to continue to take risks, expand our thinking, and push ourselves and customers to always seek out the “why,” not the “what.” I kept seeing our values and practices in the sessions, panels, and workshops I attended. It made me even prouder to tell people that I work at Intouch.

I can’t wait to get back to Chicago and infuse the learnings, raw excitement, and tech thinking and innovations into the minds I am honored to work with, and into what we do every day.

Angela Shaw, Media Director
I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to join my amazing and talented coworkers at SXSW 2018. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I returned to Kansas City feeling inspired, empowered and proud to be a part of an organization that had such a brilliant representation and invests so much in their employees. I can’t wait to apply what I learned to the growth of our team and our clients!

This is an exciting time for media. Trends and landscape are changing so fast. So much of what I learned translates to the challenges we are facing every day. Thank you Intouch!

Angela Tenuta, EVP
I’ll start by thanking Faruk for his six years of investment in our conference presence, despite the fact that my ROI math includes such squishy line items as “team learning.” But that’s what SXSW is all about! It’s an unmatched opportunity to sit among minds of the moment from all over the world and share their advancements in cutting-edge tech and branding. Year after year, I leave with a notebook full of sellable ideas – and it never fails that I also take away some big learnings about myself.

I must also thank this year’s Intouch crew, our strongest crop to date! You walked miles, you listened hard, and you debated heartily. My Sarah, you are our grounding force! Sincere thank-you’s as well to our client partners. We greatly appreciated sharing sessions, conversations, and late-night hijinks with you.

Curtis Corcoran, Group Account Director
I’m thankful for the opportunity to be inspired by all of the amazing things humans are doing to push us beyond what we thought possible.

Dusty Fann, Senior Interactive Video Producer
Happy SXSW. Thank you Intouch and everyone who made this happen! It has been enlightening, engaging and awesome!

Fareed Khattak, Senior Art Director
There are a lot of levels in the gratitude I have towards Intouch sending me to SXSW.

Since it was my first time at both the festival and the city, I can’t believe how fun Austin turned out to be. SXSW is loaded with things to learn and experience.

Connecting with the other members of Intouch has given me a drive to integrate perspectives from other departments into creative. Hanging out with account people gave me a new respect for their roles in the company.

Since the beginning of my employment here, I’ve be setting myself up to migrate into new territories (i.e design/dev hybrid). Intouch has been gracious enough to let me explore new things and extend new levels of my vocation. This SXSW trip was an overwhelmingly nice gesture by the company, and it makes me feel extremely lucky to be working for a company that is willing to foster the individual goals of their employees. Intouch is a great company to work for!

Jacob Tepper, Account Manager
I had an unbelievable experience at SXSW 2018! From learning about digital tools to improve the lives of patients with chronic conditions, to understanding the anatomy of a trend, my sessions were enlightening, insightful, and energizing.

In addition to lectures, panels, and awesome brand activations, I had the opportunity to build relationships with and learn from Intouchers that I don’t typically work with from New York, Kansas City, and Chicago. That was awesome in and of itself!

I’m incredibly humbled that I was given the opportunity to have this experience, and I’m looking forward to coming back to work to apply my learnings to my client’s business.

Joe Doyle, SVP, Strategic Development
As I write this, my 14th SXSW is still rolling with three great sessions to come, but I want to thank Intouch for the experience. I’m grateful for hands-on health tech innovations and thoughtful discussions on user-owned data – and I look forward to soon being paid in tokens.

Justin Chase, EVP/Head, Media & Innovation
After nine SXSW appearances, I can attest to the changes that have taken place at this conference. Changes in programming, events, venues, locations and brands. Changes to the city, people and infrastructure. And changes to the content, panels and attendees. It has been a true study in culture anthropology, to say the least.

That said, after a better part of a decade, I’ve never had the opportunity to experience SXSW with such an amazing group of individuals. Every single day we met in the early evening to share perspectives, trade anecdotes and funny pictures, hypothesize on waxing trends, and regale each other with celebrity sightings. I am sincerely grateful to be blessed with such phenomenal coworkers who can take a conference as engaging and dynamic as SXSW and elevate it to an entirely different plane.

Marty Canniff, SVP, Executive Creative Director
Seeing so many people speak who are focused on making our world a better place through tech, healthcare or community service is a gift. I am inspired and thankful for the opportunity to attend SXSW and look forward to bringing that back to my team.

Sahar Ejaz, Senior Strategic Planner
Shoutout to my Intouch work family and my spectacularly supportive client for giving this fast-talking, tech-loving, forever-learning gal the incredible opportunity to be inspired at SXSW. The “S” in “SXSW” is definitely for “Sahar”!

Sarah Morgan, Senior Copywriter
It’s inspiring to share a city for a week with some of the most brilliant minds in the world – not only the SXSW speakers, but also the rest of the Intouch team! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these people, who are so gifted not only at discerning the important trends in health, tech and the world at large – but also at understanding how they can be put into practice in ways that can change lives. And who have fun while they do it! Inspiration without action is just entertainment; effort without passion is just work; but here, I’m reminded of what can be done when you truly love innovating.

Shane Mayer, SVP Client Services
I’m thankful for the opportunity to come to SXSW to bond with my clients outside of our specific business context. The content at SXSW is extremely cool – and taking in brain-stretching sessions with your clients is unique. SXSW is an experience, and sharing experiences builds bonds. Adding this experiential dimension to the client-agency relationship helps strengthen the trust dynamic that we work hard to build – and it’s a fun way to do it.

Tim Kosnik, VP Client Services
I am thankful for the opportunity Intouch gave me to be at SXSW with for the second time. While I was able to bond with my clients and support their interests, this year was especially great to meet with the full Intouch team each day after the sessions and hear different perspectives on what they heard and how it could potentially drive our business.

This experience always helps inspire me to rework my thinking around how I can help build programs and brands with my clients based on our changing environment.

I also want to thank my team members back in the office supporting projects, which allowed me to focus on learning and getting the most out of SXSW.

Vicky Cory, VP Client Services
Thank you, Intouch, for letting this nerdy tech girl fill her brain at SXSW 2018. It has been an awesome, fun-filled week! The trip was filled with unexpected insights, provided not only in the SXSW sessions, but by listening to other Intouchers discuss their day every night at the Intouch condo. I have been reminded that relationships need love and attention. Listening (especially when blindfolded) is key in partnerships, be it with a loved one, in business, or thinking about your customers’ journey. I am a stronger person now, thanks to this experience. With much gratitude and all my heart, thanks to Intouch for providing opportunities for me to grow and learn.