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South by Southwest (SXSW)

CD-Roms were born from the SXSW event. So was Twitter and Foursquare. It was born specifically as a way to gather some of the world’s most underrated bands who hoped to win favor with producers or agents. When they got a little lonely, the festival organizers brought in the leading creators in film and technology and created a mash-up of ideas. The place now is a petri dish of imagination. Ideas germinate there and then they spread out like a contagion, sweeping across the country and around the world. In 1994 it became a true multimedia event with groups from all three of the big technology/entertainment business.

The annual SXSW Interactive was born in 1994 and now runs every year from the beginning of March through March 20. The film portion of the event takes a full nine days. Movies such as ‘Kick-Ass”, “Knocked Up” and more documentaries than you can shake a stick at have premiered there. Producers use the crowd as a testing market for their core audience. If it is intended for creative types, SXSW is the perfect place to try it out. This year you can catch premieres of “Source Code”, “The Beaver” and Conan O’Brien’s documentary at SXSW.

If you can’t be at SXSW it is not hard to keep up with the action. True, it doesn’t attract the major news outlets every day like the CES, but if you know where to look, SXSW news is not hard to find. Companies use the event to try out ideas and test new theories. That was how Twitter was formed.  A group of guys thought it up then brought the idea to SXSW to test it out. The same is going on this year with a new text messaging idea called “Group Messaging.” That idea is being tested out by the company that created it, called GOGII. They developed the group messaging app. This month they are spreading the word about the new app, by talking it up at SXSW.

Interestingly enough, the annual party has led to the marriage of ideas and marketing techniques. Musical groups knew about self-promotion. They shared this information with tech start-ups who used it to promote their new applications, software and hardware. Film industry folks knew how to make a movie, but the tech folks could show them how to use the latest technology to make their films better. And on and on the exchange of ideas went. Year after year the annual party has grown and the ideas have been shared. You might not go, you might not care what the new bands are or what new films are being premiered, but chances are, sooner or later, you will be affected by something they did at SXSW. You just won’t know it came from there.

Shajan Thomas | Virtual Assistant

Thomas is the founder and CEO of a premiere Virtual Assistant company based in Atlanta, GA. He's also avid Internet Marketer and has published many articles on the benefits of a Virtual Assistant in the online marketing and ecommerce arena. As part of the new Virtual Assistant initiative,he's also helped numerous companies launch their VA services and benefit from using outsource services.  If you'd like to know more, feel free to visit his website.

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