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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 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.
2. OVERVIEWThe 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival took placeMarch 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The event featured fivedays of compelling presentations from the brightest mindsin emerging technology, scores of exciting networkingevents hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup 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 apreview 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 toptakeaways from this years conference.2 3. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS Tech Is No Longer for the Digital Elite There wasnt a single standout service that had attendees buzzing SXSW isnow 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 atthis years conference.3 4. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS The Future of Social Media Apps like Kismet, Glancee, Ban.jo and Highlight, which help people meetothers 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 drivesmartphone 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 talkabout the popularity of the companys mobile photo-sharing application. Despite being available only for iPhone owners (although a version for Androidis 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 techset, likely in the hopes of raising their cachet and generating blog posts, Facebookstatus 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 entirevillage. 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 Dont Get the Sensitivity Thing Ad agency BBH Labs thought it had a clever idea to solve bandwidth overloadat the event: It outfitted homeless people with mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, ignitingcontroversy. Many found it exploitative, personified in the T-shirts worn by the 13participants, stating I am a 4G hotspot as opposed to I am running a 4Ghotspot.7 8. TOP TRENDS AND KEY LEARNINGS Women Events on the Risebut there continue to be opportunities to shine! Women continue to make a big splash at SXSW! This year saw increased exposure forfemale entrepreneurs, bloggers, online influencers and decisions-makers for consumerpackaged goods and technology products. Marketers came out in full force to targetwomen. Change The Ratio (a NY-based media campaign to increase the role of women in C-levelpositions, Op-Eds and media) helped host and co-host multiple events targeting womenincluding a Beauty Bar where women could get manicures and hear curated panels. LOreal was one of the few brands to host a women-only event bringing together womenin digital.8 9. THANK YOU!If youd like to discuss in more detail or find out how to be involved inSocial Media Week 2013, please contact:Sloane BerrentVP, Digital Marketing and Social [email protected]@sloane9