Spice Up Your Next Social Event With a SXSW Flare

By: Sofie De Beule

March 10, 2014

government surveillance
julian assange
real time
sxsw interactive
sxsw trade show
thought leadership

South by Southwest is the hip annual US event in Austin, Texas where giant technology companies, celebrities, actors and singers join forces to showcase their amazing creative (digital) talent. SXSW began Friday, March 7, and offers a unique mix of music, film, and emerging technology festivities and brings together thousands of great minds from around the world to share their creative ideas.

Although the event started off as a music gathering back in the days, it’s now considered a launch pad and breeding ground for new content in the creative industry. The SXSW Trade Show creates such buzz-worthy exposure that “boring” business events could really learn a thing or two about how to add a high amount of educational value in a cool, compelling, and thriving networking environment.

How can any marketer learn from SXSW and provide similar added-value to any business event?

Embrace Real-Time Technology & Uplift Customer Experience

Everyone likes to indulge in juicy gossip stories at events using the Secret app – or any kind of real-time technology – to entertain their audience in a fun way adding to the overall experience. SXSW makes use of the Secret app, a Twitter-like service that let’s you share secrets anonymously amongst your friends. A dedicated web feed will let all of the SXSW ‘secrets’ have their moment of fame.

Be Hyper-Relevant: Talk About Issues People Truly Care About

What happens when you interview some of the most talked-about, controversial people in the world? Right, your event gets instant buzz! Although many conferences can’t afford to pay for high-profile speakers, it’s crucial to talk about the topics in your industry that truly matter.

On Saturday, Wikileads founder Julian Assange took the SXSW Interactive stage in a “virtual” conversation via Skype from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Benjamin Palmer, from the marketing agency the Barbarion Group, interviewed him on important issues like government surveillance, online democracy, and the future of the internet.

Claim Your Spot As a Thought Leader in the Market

The one thing SXSW truly rocks at is making sure they’re on the forefront of everything hip and happening. Although it took them 27 years to become one of the most important events in the music, film, and technology industries worldwide, nowadays, they have really claimed their spot as a thought leader.

Every year, they’ve been more and more consistent in educating their audience in their area of expertise and establishing themselves as the perfect playground to bring together creative people discovering new music, film, and technology. SXSW now has its own unique mix of elements and keeps on reinventing themselves by picking up on what’s really trending in the industry, just like any event should be doing!

Want to keep up with this year’s edition? Follow them on Twitter or add some SXSW events to your schedule!