Lessons from SXSW 2017 – Part One – An Overview

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone
By Robert Lowe 5 months ago

As SXSW 2017 draws to a close in Austin, the level of insight, innovation and inspiration a person can gain from a single event has only now started to sink in.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful city of Texas with all its great food, drink and weather – SXSW brings together the world’s most renowned experts in their fields along with bleeding edge technology, innovation and start-ups.

Being accompanied by 24 fellow Bristol Media delegates, there were always familiar faces to share the inspiration (and the odd beer) with. We enjoyed a range of Keynotes from the likes of YouTube sensation Casey Neistat to former Vice President Joe Biden as well as featured sessions such as Design like a Scientist: A/B Testing UX at Netflix and Space 360: Experience NASA Missions in VR/AR/Video. The range of technologies and their applications was awe-inspiring.


However, throughout SXSW 2017 there were a number of prominent themes / trends running through the interactive track, most notably:

  1. Virtual / Augmented Reality
  2. The future of UX
  3. Artificial Intelligence (specifically chatbots)
  4. Smart Cities
  5. The Age of the Entrepreneur

Rather than attempt to summarise these into a single post, look out for articles delving deeper into these subjects over the coming days.

Although it was these common themes that dominated the festival, it was a Q&A by Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, one of the world’s largest digital agencies, that struck a cord and was really memorable. His brutal honesty toward this era of ‘start-ups’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’ was a refreshing perspective on our industry.

Enjoy a 10 minute preview of the Q&A session here (contains some colourful language):

Look out for ‘SXSW 2017 – Part Two – Virtual / Augmented Reality’ coming soon.