I was recently asked by Adweek to provide thoughts around SXSW and whether it is still worthwhile for brands to activate there.
Here are my full responses and the first was used in the article.
1. Do you think SXSW is still a valuable place for brands, marketers to be? Why or why not?
I have been a regular at SXSW over the years and I gain a unique perspective each time around. What I find valuable is that unlike other shows, SXSW is really about consumer-centric experiences. CES is about the technology, Mobile World Congress is about the upcoming infrastructure and hardware, but SXSW is truly set apart by the branded experiences.
2. What about agencies?
For agencies in attendance, it depends on the goal of the show. For my innovation team and I, it’s about the analysis of tech trends and experiences that may further validate our positioning on the topic. It’s also still a valuable experience as clients, media and industry associates all converge on Austin and it’s great to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time.
Here’s last years SXSW 2017 Trend Recap Video
3. What are some things brands should keep in mind when creating activations at SXSW?
Activations have evolved over the past few years. What was once about getting attention through over the top activations has shifted to providing utility and making the conference experience better. From Chevy’s ride sharing to Mophie & Samsungs battery activations, what stands out is creating some type of value for me as a conference goer vs. just trying to get my attention. Let me seek you out.
4. How do you cut through all the clutter and stand out?
Cutting through starts well before you ever step foot in Austin. Communicate with a clear value proposition, or something of interest ahead of the show, then while there provide a space to recharge, offer something of value, that can be through off conference events, utility such as ride shares and batteries and most importantly is to follow up post-event with either a recap, captured content or key takeaways.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360