2012 SXSW Interactive Recap

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The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival took place March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The event featured five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores …

The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival took place March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The event featured five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology.

Here are my top takeaways from this year's conference.

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  • 1. 2012 SXSW INTERACTIVE RECAP Sloane Berrent Phone: 212.598.4400 ext.277 Vice President, Digital Marketing sberrent@lippetaylor.com 215 Park Avenue South, 16th Floor Twitter: @sloane1 New York, NY 10003 www.lippetaylor.com
  • 2. OVERVIEW The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival took place March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The event featured five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. Our Vice President of Digital Marketing and Social Media, Sloane Berrent, attended for her 6th year. Here are her top takeaways from this year’s conference.2
  • 3. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  Tech Is No Longer for the Digital Elite – There wasn’t a single standout service that had attendees buzzing – SXSW is now more about distribution than innovation. – Launching at SXSW is no longer crucial - Square, Path, Kickstarter, Instagram – all did not make their debut at SXSW, but were still heavily talked about at this year’s conference.3
  • 4. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  The Future of Social Media – Apps like Kismet, Glancee, Ban.jo and Highlight, which help people meet others nearby, were the talk of the town but are still very “early adopter” heavy. – Tapping into rich and invisible layers of data is the name of the game to drive smartphone applications and mass adoption.4
  • 5. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  Mobile Matters – Kevin Systrom, chief executive of Instagram, took to the stage on Sunday to talk about the popularity of the company’s mobile photo-sharing application. – Despite being available only for iPhone owners (although a version for Android is on the way), the service has attracted 27 million users in a little over a year, proving that there is life for budding social networks after Facebook.5
  • 6. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  Big Brands, Big Bands – This year, big companies and major retail brands shelled out big money to woo the tech set, likely in the hopes of raising their cachet — and generating blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets and photos promoting themselves. – Microsoft erected a pop-up, purple-hued tent city to promote Bing, its search engine. Warby Parker built a circus for conference goers to revel in, and Google set up an entire village. American Express came away a winner with multiple activations including a Jay- Z concert for online influencers who had personal AMEX cards.6
  • 7. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  Some Techies Don’t Get the Sensitivity Thing – Ad agency BBH Labs thought it had a clever idea to solve bandwidth overload at the event: It outfitted homeless people with mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, igniting controversy. – Many found it exploitative, personified in the T-shirts worn by the 13 participants, stating “I am a 4G hotspot” as opposed to “I am running a 4G hotspot.”7
  • 8. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS  Women Events on the Rise…but there continue to be opportunities to shine! – Women continue to make a big splash at SXSW! This year saw increased exposure for female entrepreneurs, bloggers, online influencers and decisions-makers for consumer packaged goods and technology products. Marketers came out in full force to target women. – Change The Ratio (a NY-based media campaign to increase the role of women in C-level positions, Op-Eds and media) helped host and co-host multiple events targeting women including a “Beauty Bar” where women could get manicures and hear curated panels. – L’Oreal was one of the few brands to host a “women-only” event bringing together women in digital.8
  • 9. THANK YOU! If you’d like to discuss in more detail or find out how to be involved in Social Media Week 2013, please contact: Sloane Berrent VP, Digital Marketing and Social Media sberrent@lippetaylor.com @sloane9