SXSW Interactive: 2013 Trends in Austin

DSC_3896The latest statistics highlight the fact that attendance at this week’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference will be up 5-7 percent over last year -  nearly 25,000 tech company and startup reps, marketing professionals, 20-something millionaires, social media experts (Ninjas? Mavens? Warriors?) and creative types will descend on Austin, TX for five days of sessions, product launches, parties, discussions and extended happy hours.

GFM is headed back for a third straight year, and you’ll see quite a bit of content on the GFM blog and our social media platforms from me and my colleague Jon Woods in the coming days. We’re planning a similar content approach as Alexis and I took last year to keep those of you who can’t make it to Austin up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the digital world.

Here’s what you can expect from GFM at SXSWi 2013:

  • A blog post each morning covering our SXSW “favorites” from the previous day – things overheard, semi-famous people spotted, food, drinks, photos and certainly much, much more
  • A blog post each afternoon highlighting the best of the best that we will encounter – trends, panels and discussions all related to marketing and communications via social and digital channels
  • Videos – our goal is to capture the experiences, sights, sounds and conversations to share with our online community, and hopefully spark some creativity and original thoughts for your own marketing and communications efforts

And while we won’t pretend that we’re hip enough to predict the hipster trends of SXSW (Skinner jeans? Chunkier glasses?), based on the conference sessions here are a few concepts that will clearly be taking center stage in Austin:

  • DSC_3924Big Data - how will marketers effectively utilize data from social networks to better connect with their audiences?
  • Privacy issues – with all of that data, who will have access to it and how will it be used?
  • Health and social media – there are multiple sessions related to using technology and data to have a positive impact on our collective health
  • Video – how do you take a medium that has so many variables (quality, content, advertisements, comedy, etc.) and make it effectively work for brands in the digital age?
  • Space – there are a dozen sessions that have “space” or “NASA” in the title this year. No word on a Shatner appearance just yet…
  • Mobile adoption – more than 700 million of us have mini-computers in our pockets 24 hours a day. What strategies and concepts work to connect individuals with brands when you have that kind of access to key audiences?
  • Breakfast tacos and TexMex – this is Austin, after all

We’re looking forward to reporting back on these, and many other topics over the next week. In the meantime, let us know if there’s something specific you want to hear more about from SXSWi 2013.

Twitter – Jim: @DenverPRGuy, Jon: @WoodrowWilson, GFM: @GroundFloorPR

Instagram – Jim: @jimlicko, Jon: @woodrowwilson

 

 

 

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