SXSW 2018: Goodbye hype, hello real-world applications!

SXSW celebrates creativity and innovation in film, music, and (most importantly for us) tech.

With the entire city turning into an artful , futuristic experience, there is no wonder it attracts visitors from all over the world. But what exactly is in it for businesses? Let's go over last year's noticeable themes and take a look at what might come next...

Let's recap

VR experiences were abundant at last year's trade show (and dotted around other locations), with NASA's space journey attracting a steady flow of visitors. As one of the key themes of last year's interactive part of the festival, it garnered a lot of interest however the practical applications remained unclear... 

AI and machine learning dominated the tech trade show and marketing sessions, with a heavy focus on the potential of artificial intelligence for the future of business. Although a hot topic, this was more exploratory as opposed to discussing any robust practical applications. AI is certainly a potentially valuable tool for businesses, but it's important to use it in the right way.

What should we expect this year?

AI will certainly hold a strong position in 2018's session topics, however, what is noticeable is the focus on the real-world applications of AI, particularly in marketing. In other words, we may be able to understand how can businesses actually utilise this emerging technology to connect with consumers and improve processes rather than just wow in awe of its power.

2017's trade show saw a huge amount of new and emerging technology showcased, and the past year has seen so many innovations launched (such as Amazon Go), so it can be difficult to identify what's going to stick around. What's hype and what's real? This year might just involve sifting through the buzzwords to find the gold.

Last but not least... how can businesses ensure that every decision they make is backed up by evidence? Making data-driven decisions is a priority for many brands and businesses as they consider how best to approach digital transformation and keep up with evolving consumer demands.

Want to catch up while we're both in town? Drop me a message!

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Author Clare Palmer