SXSW – South by Southwest
March 9, 2023 – 3:20 in the afternoon
It’s time to go to Austin! In the capital of Texas, USA, I will spend the next 10 days to have a glimpse of the future. After all, every year SXSW (South by Southwest) reveals trends, presents new technologies and compares previous forecasts.
There are so many cool, coordinated, creative and determined people that all subjects seem very solid, but time reveals that not everything is unshakable. Last year, for example, investments in Metavers shares were the protagonists of many agendas and discussions. The enthusiasm was visible. However, during 2022, we note an equalization at the borders of this topic, and reality has shown that, when we talk about trends, we should always be careful.
People invest time, money and expectations in the days they will be at SXSW. And when asked what mine are, my answer is pragmatic: I’m going there to paint a picture of the creative industry TODAY, which, in my opinion, is far more relevant than all the predictions put together.
And what are the elements that I imagine I would find to compose the frame of this photograph? Well, my bets are on the curve of usage and adoption of new technologies. For example, I’m looking forward to a presentation by Elizabeth Branson-Boudreau, executive director and publisher of the MIT Technology Review, who will list this year’s most innovative technologies in her assessment. This lecture is a classic at SXSW and shows the limits and possible impacts of technologies that already exist and are changing the market right now. Things like artificial intelligence that generates images and other innovations that already have or have the potential to impact businesses in the creative economy.
Another topic that is innate among my interests is brand building through storytelling, especially when it happens in a digital environment, influencer marketing. As much as we know how to do it in Brazil, it is always interesting to understand how this way of communicating brands develops in other markets. Within this topic, one of the panels that caught my attention was about how people are investing in their personal brand on social media after the Great Resignation – simply because that’s how influencers are born.
Questions about how to “decode culture to create a better future” will be the topic of a panel that will bring together Anheuser-Busch InBev and YouTube in a discussion that will revolve around how companies can (or should) move forward and seek to understand what motivates Millennials and GenZ -a, which are the generations that are driving cultural and consumer trends today. Another topic that moves me and is on the festival line-up is how to create brands that can go viral. In this case, it is interesting to understand what are the levers of viralization in different parts of the world.
SXSW brings many other debates and, of course, the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world who are super in tune with the market, with what’s happening today and with the behavioral trends that are already consolidating. Perhaps the richest and most interesting discussions take place in the queue at the entrance to the events, at the bars or in the restaurants. Maybe take a dip at the traditional Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, a guaranteed hot spot, or visit one of the best boot and western fashion stores in Texas, Allens Boots. Therefore, my expectation far exceeds the official line-up – although it is already quite encouraging in itself.