This year, Chris and Matt head down to Austin for SXSW. The rest of the 2930 Creative team anxiously awaits their reporting, but before they begin the car drive down there (made easier by the fact that they both have Nintendo Switches), we wanted to share a few expectations and SXSW predictions.
SXSW always offers a glimpse into a future; whether or not that future comes to pass or not is nearly impossible to predict. Think of it like Paris Fashion Week. The crazy outfits that the models wear don’t actually come out to Target, but elements from the top trickle down to the rest of us. Actually, I’m not sure if that analogy holds because I know nothing about fashion week, but I know that this is how SXSW has worked in the past, so I get points for trying, right?
Here is what we’re excited about at SXSW:
Livestreaming is where video was a few years ago: it has arrived and has become a part of our digital culture; the larger brands have a strategy in place and try to incorporate livestreaming; and smaller brands are still trying to figure out what’s going on. 2930 Creative has begun incorporating livestreaming in our self-promotion efforts. You can check out our Facebook Live show on Wednesdays at 1:30 CT.
The focus for livestreaming has shifted from “this is awesome emerging tech!” to “how do I create a livestream following?” Livestreaming has become common enough that people no longer wonder how to do it, but instead focus on strategies to grow an audience. Many of the talks at SXSW will focus on breaking into this maturing medium. We also expect virtually everyone to be livestreaming from the show itself.
As livestream goes from new kid on the block to established resident, social has retired to the old folks’ home. Well, not quite. Obviously, social media is important. I won’t bore you with the studies that get put out on a regular basis explaining why your company needs social media, but it does. As far as SXSW predictions go, however, social is changing, and it needs to change.
Social will change as we incorporate more livestreaming. More and more users also take the majority of their social actions off of public streams and into more private chat conversations. How will brands adjust to meet this change? There are so many questions facing social media, and we will look at a few of the most pressing.
VR is coming. Like livestreaming, virtual reality is a matter of “when” not “if” it arrives. Consumer adoption might not show incredible numbers, but that does not mean big brands haven’t started experimenting with VR, and where the big guys go, the rest of us tend to follow. While it will take a few more years for smaller brands to need to consider virtual reality, early adopters might see benefits—or they might be standing on the wrong end of the Titanic and be the first ones to hit the water. Who knows! It’s tech! It’s exciting! All I know is that early adopters of YouTube, Twitch, and other services became big because of opportunity (and a few other factors, of course). Who will emerge as the big players in virtual reality? Only time will tell!
There will be plenty of other things happening as SXSW this year. We also know that there will be a huge focus on medical tech, as well as more traditional mediums like television, which is currently enjoying another golden age.
You can follow Chris and Matt as they go through SXSW on their Twitter accounts (@iamcoolc for Chris and @kindasupermario for Matt). They will also share thoughts on our company Snapchat and livestream through our Instagram.
Josh Duke is the director of content at 2930 Creative and believes that Skynet will be unveiled at this year’s SXSW.