20160312-SXSW_DesigningHappiness-584What’s the secret to a successful panel discussion at South by Southwest Interactive? Puppies and cookies and a talk about happiness.

At the panel Designing Happiness on Saturday, Lippencott, Disney and SoulCycle had huge lines waiting to fill their 500 seat room. It was one of the highest attended panel’s of the day not including the keynote speaker.

“If you want to know the trick to designing happiness,” Bruce Vaughn, former Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering said. “simply look to nature. It’s foolproof.”

That’s when Vaughn brought out eight Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies on the stage alongside the panelists.

20160312-SXSW_DesigningHappiness-242A key to happiness is to end strong, according to the panelists. The other panelists included Randall Stone, Director of Experience Innovation at Lippincott and Gabby Etrog Cohen, Senior Vice President, Brand Strategy at SoulCycle. The session, moderated by Mark Wilson, Senior Writer at Fast Company, was designed to embody Lippincott’s research that found happiness to be as much about how we look forward to and look back on an event as it is about the event itself.

Lippincott brought their “happiness halo” research to life throughout the panel, creating moments of anticipation, interaction and afterglow. And the panel did end on a high note. The attendees were all given freshly baked cookies from Naegelin’s Bakery, the oldest bakery in Texas as farewell treats.