Chaos, collision and crowdsourcing - key trends from SXSW 2013

Sarah Shearman

Amid the vast crowds, noisy start-up marketing campaigns, free beer, barbecues and parties at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, numerous cutting-edge ideas, new technologies and innovations emerged, ready to be discovered and interpreted. This year, wearable technology, personalisation, co-creation and chaos were some of the more prominent themes that stood out, all of which have implications for marketers wanting to be relevant in the digital age.

Digital and physical collide

The strongest theme to emerge from the event was how the digital and physical worlds are colliding. Last year, Nike stole the limelight from both big brands and start-up hopefuls by opening up the API for its then newly-launched FuelBand, which tracks physical movement.

One year on, and the trend in wearable technology is burgeoning, reflected not only by the high number of talks on the subject, but also on the ground, with attendees sporting the various sorts of wristbands now on the market.