SXSW launched the Creative Industries Expo on the 3rd day of the festival, bringing together thousands of participants with hundreds of cutting-edge companies from technology, design, health and wellness, entertainment and more. The variety of showcased products spanned from new protein bars and board games to wearable devices with artificial muscles that help you give yourself a hug through a torso equipped with pressure sensors.
By far the most exciting exhibitor was HYPERVSN, a London-based phygital experience company. HYPERVSN showcased several products, including holographic live stream, interactive holographic window display, and a massive 3D hologram with Mark Cuban awkwardly but with stunning reality hyping up the company.
Animal rights non-profit PETA was also among the exhibitors. PETA showcased a VR experience that drew attention to animal cruelty. Visitors experienced a scenario in which they get abducted by aliens, were taken to a lab and underwent degrading experiments.
The day’s slate of content was equally fascinating. During a session on M&A activity in the digital media industry; Precursor Ventures’ Charles Hudson, Axios’ Roy Schwartz, Candle Media’s Brent Weinstein and The Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Toonkel talked about the difficulties and opportunities surrounding digital media companies. The panelists underlined the hardship the ad-supported outlets will face this year and emphasised that the opportunities lie in niche B2B outlets and strong franchises.
Speaking to a room of marketers, Reddit’s Head of Foresight Matt Klein and Senior Manager of Social Media Allison Day urged brands to resist the urge to jump on every social media trend that they see. Klein said that this way of looking at trends misses the point because fast trends like corecore and indie sleaze don’t actually translate into real behavioural change. It’s usually the slow-building trends that make a true impact on consumers. Klein and Day recommended marketers to focus on understanding which trends are building a momentum, rather than jumping on the fastest and biggest ones. Instead of looking for quick wins brands should invest in building a long-lasting, trustworthy brand. To add true value to their communities, brands don’t need to get behind everything — they can simply figure out what’s most relevant to their brand and strategize ways of augmenting that community’s culture.
Featured image: SXSW Day 3 / M&A activity in the digital media industry panel