South by So What? SXSW Post-Mortem
Every year, thousands of people descend on Austin, Texas in the middle of March for the much-romanticized South by Southwest Festival, historically a meeting of the minds for those in the technology and marketing worlds. But has the magic disappeared? Once the birthplace of killer apps like Twitter and foursquare, over the past few years the buzz has gone South, and left many saying "South by So What?"
BREAKING: Marketers at SXSW Getting Firsthand Look at Exciting New Digital Startups That'll be Out of Business by End of Year
— Adweak (@adweak) March 16, 2015
While that tweet from parody humor account Adweak might be a bit harsh, it's important to think about the lasting ramifications that hype-fueled conferences will actually have. Is there much of any? With a failure to produce any new "killer apps" in the past few years, it would seem like SXSW's heyday is in its twilight. While heading to a conference to hear from guest panels and see a few bands — SXSW has always been connected with a music conference of the same name — is fun, what's the meat of the thing?
SXSW needs more industry panel discussions about SXSW industry panel discussions
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 12, 2015
It looks like there might still be value at SXSW, you just need to know where to look. As Andrew Bailey wrote for Adweek, "let's be honest with ourselves as an industry, stick to what we are great at, and apply innovation only so far as it helps us expand a brand's business and reach a relevant target."
Related story: A Marketer's Guide to SXSW Interactive