SXSW 2014 – What To Expect

SXSW 2014 – What To Expect Uri Bar-Joseph Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

SXSW_Logo_2013_BlackBG_CSSouth by Southwest 2014 is just under 4 weeks away. The Austin, TX festival will be kicked off by the interactive conference, which officially starts on Friday March 7. Just like in previous years, this year’s SXSW is packed with sessions, speakers, parties, networking events, and opportunities for startups to get recognition and brands to build more awareness.

See You There?

Simply Measured will be at SXSW in full force, and we would love to meet up with you there. We’re hosting two events – a Data & Drinks cocktail party on Saturday March 8 at 7pm (details and RSVP here) and a Sunday brunch at 11am (details and registration here) – but will also be available for one-on-one meetings at our temporary office at GoLabs. Email us today to schedule a meeting, or to let us know you’d like to meet up for a drink!

Here are five things you can expect to see in this year’s SXSW Interactive

Record Attendance

Registration numbers to SXSW have been going up steadily since 1985, with the early 2000’s showing signs of slowing, following the .com crisis. But since 2007, SXSW has been climbing back up to become one of the most popular conferences every year.

Screenshot 2014-02-10 10.43.50

Surprising Keynote Speakers

This year’s keynote speakers are somewhat surprising, covering a mix of topics such as creativity, DNA and biotech, space, education and health.

SXSW-keynote-montage-feb-7

An interesting addition to the year’s speakers is WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange. Assange will be interviewed by Benjamin Palmer of the Barbarian Group via satellite video on Saturday, March 8 at 11am (Central).

Sessions

There are 1,322 official sessions during SXSW Interactive, with the vast majority between Saturday and Monday (Saturday – 339; Sunday – 293; Monday – 322). Topics range from health, privacy, hacking and design to non-profits, fashion, space exploration and gaming.

It seems that this year there’s a big focus on Privacy and Policy as 156 of the sessions are on the topic of “Social & Privacy” and 178 are on “Global Impact and Policy.” The top four topics are:

  • Health and Business (201 sessions)
  • Global Impact and Policy (178 sessions)
  • Social and Privacy (156 sessions)
  • Design and Development (148 sessions)

SXSW Topic Word Cloud

So expect a SXSW Interactive full of sessions on these topics, plus one-offs from anything that fits your bill. For a full list of sessions, check out SXSW schedule.

Parties

Last year, SXSW had a lot of parties. Actually, parties rolled on Twitter compared to mentions of panels.

SXSW-panels-vs.-parties

This year, early indications support the trend. The Austin police department received an overwhelming number of event permit applications; so many that they actually had to close the event permit registration a month before the official start date of the conference.

Simply Measured is also joining the party and we will be hosting two events: Data & Drinks event on Saturday March 8 at 7pm (details and RSVP here) and a Sunday brunch at 11am (details and registration here). If you’re heading down to SXSW, stop by to say hello.

Data

Last year we enjoyed diving into and analyzing the social media data around the conference. This year, we’re gearing to do it in real time and expect to see much more data coming out of the Interactive conference. Follow our blog or follow us on Twitter to get the real time data scoop on SXSW.

Annual-Volume-Comparison
We’d love to see you there! Be sure to join us either Saturday March 8th at 7pm (details and RSVP here) for #DataAndDrinks, or Sunday for brunch at 11am (details and registration here). If you can’t make either, email us today to schedule a meeting, or to let us know you’d like to meet up  during the weekend. Cheers!

Uri Bar-Joseph

VP of Marketing at Simply Measured and the designated punching bag for the marketing team. I believe in marketing through data, but love the creative elements of marketing. I write about strategy, decision making, the future of marketing and how social media is reshaping marketing. I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn.