With thousands of digerati from around the world descending on downtown Austin for the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference (March 8-12), an annual meeting of “the brightest minds in emerging technology the international community have to offer,” CNN is turning to Momentum Factor for cutting-edge opinions about the technology and marketing world.
Some SXSWi veterans have been increasingly complaining over the past few years that the event has jumped the shark – sold out parties, long lines, fewer big launches, and generally a loss of the “cool” factor. Omar Gallaga highlights some of the issues in a CNN feature report:
“People are simply adjusting their behavior,” as Momentum Factor’s own Stephanie Wonderlin, explains. Wonderlin believes things have been quieter going into Interactive this year, at least from her perspective. “I keep asking myself, ‘What do I feel is missing?’ I don’t know if it’s me being snooty.”
For 2013, she says her schedule has shifted from big parties to smaller gatherings and networking, a trend she’s seeing among friends, some of whom aren’t bothering to pay for a badge.
“I think the size and how big it’s gotten were just so overblown that maybe people who have to be there now want to do things on their own. One person told me, ‘I would rather grab a bottle of wine and head up to a rooftop with a small group of friends’ than go to the big parties,” Wonderlin said.
Stephanie and Momentum Factor Founder & CEO Jonathan Gilliam will be at the event, checking out all the cool new apps, attending some of the more interesting sessions, and, of course, schmoozing. You can follow them on Twitter at @momofactor for updates and reach out if you’d like to get together with them for some networking and maybe a rooftop bottle of wine.