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Technology05 April 2016

SXSW 2016: Key Trends and Insights

Social trend

This year’s South By Southwest certainly did not surprise me as far as its content is concerned because in this regard the event was as always on a very high level, and the key subject areas were very diverse. From new technologies, to issues of equality (gender and race related) to provision of food in the future, politics, and genetics.

What positively surprised me was the approach of many brands present at SXSW to the so-called own events and to generating interest of the SXSW participants. It was very… human. The companies referred to what is extremely important for all of us in navigating the everyday – senses (e.g. Kodak or Deloitte) or the childhood memories (e.g. the “Analog” event of American Greetings). What was very noticeable was simplicity: the activations were not over-wordy and usually fulfilled one particular function, which was enjoyed by the participants because it simply – worked.

I also noticed the very practical, and sometimes even mundane, way the new technologies were discussed. That included topics such as robotics (at home, body-related, or industrial), AR, VR, or Self-Driving Cars. The near-future perspective was the most talked about, both in terms of benefits and risks arising from their development. The fact that – at last – nobody was talking about drones was quite a big success too :). This mantle was taken up by Virtual Reality, which was among the top three most popular topics discussed in social media throughout the whole SXSW Interactive, and adapted by the vast majority of brands throughout the event. Quantity did not, however, turned into quality in this case, because many of those solutions were simply poor or underdeveloped.

After this slightly longer than usual introduction, I’d like to share with you my presentation, which summarises my thoughts on this year’s edition of the event, the most interesting activations (including those I’ve mention above) and the most important phenomena which I noticed emerging during SXSW.

P.S. Open in full screen view.
My visit at SXSW was carried out in partnership with the Orange Poland brand.

SXSW Trend Report 2016 [EN] from
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