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Industry / SXSW Twenty Eleven Recap

March 17, 2011

Looking back at my SXSW 2011 experience, I have been trying to determine who and what exactly was the breakout of festival. Last year we of course had the birth of Foursquare, and the years leading up to 2010, Twitter was a huge component in the digital vs. real world . However this year, the breakout performer was not a person nor was it a product or even a platform, it was ADVERTISING.

Having attended the event since 2005, it was clear just after a few hours in Austin that this year advertising, and advertising agencies were definitely #winning. It was impossible to avoid the co-opted and sponsored experiences, free rides, and free food brought to you by major brands like Pepsi, CNN, and a wide array of advertising agencies including our very own collaboration with The Salt Lick.

Over the past two years the interactive portion of SXSW has outgrown the once dominant music presence and I am sure the SXSWi attendance will only continue to grow in the years to come. The event I once attended in 2005 is no longer the same, and I can definitively say we are not in Kansas anymore Toto. For better or for worse SXSW is once again changing and breaking new grounds.

Some of the evening events I was really stoked on were the Tumblr collaboration with Funny Or Die, at the HighBall, which was impeccably catered, I also had a blast at the Blackberry event where Diplo threw it down hard. The Barbarians TOS Violation was a good time, even though it was way too crowded, the Vimeo & Nikon jam was insane, , and the great people over at Mediatemple closed out the week with a monster bash featuring a live set from the Foo Fighters. Thanks You Austin for another fun filled week of great people, great panels, and great parties.

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