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What to Expect from SXSW

What to Expect from SXSW

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 by

Austin’s annual population spike returns for its 31st year today, March 10, 2017. South by Southwest (SXSW) is an event that people from all over the world come to enjoy. Featuring speakers, conferences, and entertainment–this week of festivities has something happening at all times, and something intriguing for everyone.

Conferences

This year, SXSW features a wide variety of conferences to attend. With topics including branding and marketing, film and TV, experiential storytelling, food, music, virtual and augmented reality, and many others–there is a conference that covers just about every sector of the creative world. This plethora of conferences can be broken down into four categories: interactive, film, music and convergence. This portion of SXSW is great for networking and discovering more information from experts in specialized fields of interest.

Festivals

With 4 festival types, SXSW is filled with constant happenings. The interactive festival is more of a networking event than entertainment. This festival includes learning opportunities, awards presentations, parties and more. Incorporating nine days of screenings, the SXSW Film Festival embodies everything film, from indie shorts to Hollywood favorites. Then, there’s music. They don’t call Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World” for nothing. The music festival portion of SXSW exhibits artists from all over the world, showcasing their beloved or up-and-coming music. The final festival of SXSW is the comedy festival, which until recently was only one night (what a joke!). Now, this weeklong festival features all types of comedic performances including standup, improv, sketch, podcasts, panels, and parties.

Exhibitions

SXSW also hosts many exhibitions for their audience. With trade shows, the SXSW Gaming Expo, art programs, and more–exhibitions are a good way to get a glimpse of the talent showcased in this event. The SXSW Marketplace also gives consumers the opportunity to relish an innovative shopping experience with a select lineup of local boutiques, as well as a handpicked selection of national and global brands.

Networking

Aside from the conferences, festivals, and exhibitions being excellent ways to meet people, SXSW includes even more networking opportunities. With lounges and parties to meet associates in a casual setting. SXSW embodies the laid-back Austin culture, infusing it into the business world. With food and drinks in hand, lounges and parties make networking a more riveting event. People from all over the world travel to Austin for this event, so with meet-ups that capitalize on creative collaboration, SXSW offers participants the opportunity to connect with many different minds, from broad and diverse backgrounds. SXSW has also created a way for registrants to stay connected through their SXSW GO app, as well as on SXSW Social that lets registrants post pictures, update schedules, message others, and more.

Awards

The grand finale of SXSW is the awards portion of the event. Featuring awards for interactive innovation, film, gaming, community service, and more–the SXSW Awards honor extraordinary work in a myriad of different fields and achievements.

With the fear of sounding like Billy Mays in an infomercial constantly saying, “But wait, there’s more!” it is safe to say SXSW incorporates so much more than one article could do justice. If you’re particularly excited for a certain aspect of SXSW, let us know with a comment!

Alyssa Zucker

Public Relations student at UT Austin; Social Media and Marketing Intern at HMG Creative; California native, coffee addict. Follow her on Instagram @alyssazucker

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