South by Southwest, (SXSW®) is an annual festival in March in Austin, Texas, featuring technology, film and music talents from all over the world.The festival started in 1987 as a way to solve the classic problem facing talented Austin musicians who, smack in the middle of Texas, were isolated from the rest of the music world. SXSW was a way to reach out beyond the region to bring musicians and music executives there to do business. The organizers were expecting around 150 attendees to show up to the first edition, but over 700 came!SXSW was an instant hit. Bands from all over the US as well as international acts were on the bill the following year, and the numbers continued to grow. In 1994, SXSW added film and interactive components to the music festival. Fast forward to present day: SXSW now has offices in Ireland, Germany, Australia and Japan, from which many artists and bands for this year’s festival hail.
From March 8th-17th, SXSW will include an eclectic lineup of over 200 music acts, films, parties, and panels. With so much going on, how do you stay in touch, meet other attendees and keep up? SXSW has introduced a platform called SXsocial (“South by social”), an official registrant directory that aims to be the one stop shop for connecting with new colleagues and friends before, during and after the festival.
Benefits of the platform include letting people know who you are and what you're about, and helping people find you based on common interests. Search for registrants by name, position, company. Send messages to people you are interested in meeting, and more.
And SXswag continues to help keep Austin green for the third year in a row with a digital version of the ubiquitous conference swag bag. Anyone can access the apps, accounts, and merchandise via the platform, but only registrants can unlock extra goodies with a special code.
Visit SXsocial to get started so you can hit the ground running in Austin. If you’re already a SXsocialite, what’s your experience been like using this platform so far?
By the way, Brandie, Ashley, Angelo, Jamie, and Mary from the SMD team will be attending this year, so let us know if you want to grab a coffee or a beer.