A refreshing side of Sarah Lacy returned to her native Tennessee on Wednesday morning to kick off the first Southland Conference. If you’ve seen Lacy on her best you know she can be a hard edged interviewer that commands respect in the room, after all with her storied career and climbing through Business Week, TechCrunch, authoring books and two children, she’s earned it. But Wednesday morning her southern Tennessee charm returned when she welcomed her interviewee Gary Swart, CEO of Odesk for a fireside chat.
Before the interview though, Lacy wanted to hand a secret over to the organizers and attendees of the first ever Southland conference. Lacy talked abut Big Omaha, the centerpiece of Silicon Prairie News’ “Big Series” and a must attend conference for entrepreneurs everywhere. “Do you know how they get big names at Big Omaha” Lacy asked the audience. Then she proceeded to show everyone.
First off she made it clear as southerners and entrepreneurs we were going to “steal” what Big Omaha does. After that she showed off Jeff Slobotski’s (the organizer of Big Omaha and founder of SPN) secret.
It was a huge warm welcome that made each of the speakers, big and small, feel like the biggest person on earth. “Pretend Gary is Oprah and she just gave everyone a car” Lacy told the audience as she asked everyone to practice the big welcome.
Although Southland is in Nashville it’s designed to celebrate entrepreneurship throughout the south east and with that in mind Lacy made plenty of references to her Memphis upbringing during her talk with Swart. Lacy made the trek from Silicon Valley with her 8 week old baby in tow.
Here’s some video
Check out more of our Southland coverage here.