Don’t let the skinny jeans fool you. South By Southwest is a B2B playground.
Maybe because it was founded on music, or maybe because of its hipster motif, for some reason many businesses don’t take the festival seriously. They do so at their peril. The Interactive portion of SXSW – the place where little ol’ Twitter was launched – is rich with opportunity for inventive B2B brands to network, make connections and learn from each other.
You need only take a stroll around the convention floor to see the evidence. Big b2b companies, like Rackspace and EMC, set up shop alongside iPhone app-makers. Add to that the speakers and panel discussions holding forth on a wide range topics, from demand generation to social media to building online platforms, and you start to see the appeal for B2B marketing.
But the real draw of SXSW is its breadth. While other events become increasingly narrow in focus, SXSW connects the dots between artists, geeks, filmmakers, musicians and business. Just as the meteoric rise of social media has diminished the artificial barriers between B2C and B2B, SXSW exposes a panaromic vision of how business, art and life fit together.
We listen to music, we watch film, we go to work. In many ways, SXSW represents the collapse of industries and a celebration of Industry. B2B brands can’t afford to stand outside that all-encompassing perspective.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the video below for other B2B businesses perspective on the value SXSW delivers for their brands. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpTHU5noVk8[/youtube]