March 12, 2014

A First-hand Look at SXSW 2014

As many of you probably know (and may have muted the overwhelming social media buzz), #SXSW kicked off strong this past week. I had the opportunity to speak to a few different people who were in some way part of the conference, each with a very different perspective.

Dave Delaney, our own Director of Strategy here at TechnologyAdvice, has been a part of SXSW since 2008. He mentioned that it’s grown a bit since then. When he first went that year, there were around 7,000 people in attendance. This year, they anticipate more than 30,000. You can learn more about the history of SXSW on Dave’s new podcast.

More than anything else, Dave sees a focus on “the internet of things;” how applications are connected and implemented. Along with his insight came some SXSW wisdom, obtained from experiencing the conference first-hand many times. He jokingly warned that there’s a strong party atmosphere, which is not by itself troubling—it’s his Confucian follow-up: “what happens at SXSW stays…on the internet”—that keeps you on your toes.

Tim Street, Board of Directors on the International Academy of Web Television, is a video content guru. When asked for his perspective on SXSW, he focused his comments on short video. This includes video content produced by apps like Vine and Instagram. While he said to keep an eye on short video in the future, he was hesitant to say anything definitive about the future of it. According to Tim, there’s no telling where it is going to go, nor is there any vernacular for it so far. My interpretation is you can’t predict what’s going to happen, so it’s best to enjoy the ride.

Startup Bus

Photo Credit: Katherine Richardson

Katherine Richardson’s adventure started several hundred miles away from San Antonio. She, along with 19 strangers, took the Startup Bus to the conference from Nashville. Over the course of the 72-hour drive, the riders developed business ideas and plans which were eventually pitched at the conference. One of her fellow bus-riders even made it to the late stages of the pitch competition. After many miles and hours cooped up on the bus, she was very relieved to finally arrive at the festival, which, she noticed, had a very different atmosphere than her Startup Bus.  She had no problem joining in on the party as soon as the bus hit the lot. Here is the bus while visiting Memphis, TN!

For more information about the SXSW festival, visit your twitter feed (after you unmute the #SXSW, of course.) Keep an eye out for our new podcast coming in the next two weeks. You can subscribe to our newsletter to be the FIRST notified of its launch.

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