UPDATE 4-19 - Here is an article that has some concrete takeaways from the SXSW experience... and yes SXSW was, as all good events need to be, an Experience. http://bit.ly/dTkhRV
and another review of the SXSW event.
(original article below)
With Coachella staging now in SoCal, and South By Southwest (SXSW) just concluded in Austin, TX, the question lingers 'what are these events about?' and 'why do they draw so powerfully from the consumer base?
Both events draw hundreds of thousands of people and major attention over the web as well, with live streaming content in the form of music concerts, parties, and other festival happenings.
What could OR learn from these consumer events functioning as quasi-b2b venues? Is the culture of the outdoor industry in play at OR, and should it be? Does it take from the strictly business attitude we foster?
My first time attending SXSW was this year, and my eyes were popped by the throngs of iPad-toting twenty-somethings staffing booths and appearing to network like the gaming fiends they were in a previous life. Brands like Gowalla and Blogworld were launched at prior versions of SXSW, and Coachella is following step as the 'arts gathering' to replace the failed Woodstock revival. I wonder what really happened there (besides arson)...