Experiential Marketing Takes Center Stage at SXSW

If you attended this year’s SXSW Festival, chances are that you saw or interacted with some really outstanding brand and film curated experiences. That in itself may not be unexpected for a festival of this size or importance, but what was most energizing was the level of sophistication, creativity, and interactivity applied to them by brands both big and small.


Experiential marketing is maturing and has finally gained the client-side recognition it merits as a meaningful and effective way to engage and build loyalty with their consumer base. At the core of this maturation and recognition, we have to thank the demographic and cultural changes brands are seeing in the marketplace. Customers, however, targeted or niche, seek authenticity, brand affinity to their endeared causes, and avidly seek augmented experiences and interactions of the likes seen at SXSW this year.

Complementing this cultural realignment is technology. We are entering a time of convergence between creativity and technology, where agencies are finally getting the right tools to bring to life experiences that aren’t too repetitive, clunky, or riddled with engagement barriers.

Brands and agencies have also been quickly realizing that live experiences need the right type of brand ambassadors; reliable and adaptable professionals to bring these experiences to their full potential and create the right sentiment. Immersive experiences, like the ones seen at SXSW for HBO, Amazon Prime, and others come with hefty price tags, so the brand ambassadors in the front lines are responsible for directing engagement that cannot be left to chance.

At SXSW we saw more brands and agencies, including our platform’s clients, effectively using technology to bring quality to this critical staffing process. As experiential marketing takes a larger share of the marketing mix, it makes sense that they will apply more technology and care as to whom is interacting with their target consumers on their behalf.

As fans and conscious consumers, we should all be very excited to see where this convergence of culture, tech tools, and the ever-important diversity and inclusion leads experiential marketing in the near future.

The BookedOut by Shiftgig platform offers brands and agencies the technology tools for field activation management including: staff vetting, training, scheduling, tracking and reporting tools in a secure and quality driven way.

About The Author

Carlos is an intrepid marketer, author and client partner with 14+ years of progressive, integrated marketing and technology sales experience. To connect with Carlos, add him on LinkedIn!