SXSW 2015: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What’s the Biggest Draw of Them All?

SXSW 15 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What's the Biggest Draw of AllSXSW 2015 is in the full swing of things in the Lone Star State today, and of the thousands who will pass through the festival this week, one thing is for sure — attendees are as diverse in their interests as they come.

Thanks to a new report from Horizon Media, the group’s Finger on the Pulse Study reveals what the most popular attractions at SXSW really are.

According to the agency’s proprietary online research community, “music remains the biggest draw to the South by Southwest festival, followed by technology and innovation.”

Of course, there’s enough technology and innovation at SXSW to thoroughly satisfy anyone who isn’t there for music.

“South by Southwest is one of the only major festivals that transcends music and incorporates film, technology, and speakers, drawing an eclectic crowd,” the report summary reads. “While the other aspects are a draw, music is the number one topic that interests more than one third of consumers when selecting a festival to attend; 34% of survey respondents chose music as the single most important draw of festivals and agreed ‘I want to see the bands that I like and learn about new ones.'”

Technology follows music as a driving factor of attendance; 14% said technology is the biggest festival draw and agreed “I want to be on the forefront of checking out what’s coming next.” However, those who are aware of SXSW are almost twice as likely as those who aren’t to say that new technology is their main driver to attend any festival; two in ten of the former (20%) said tech is their top festival draw, compared to one in ten (11%) of the latter.

“This year, SXSW sponsors can maximize their investment by using social media to help event attendees and followers connect the creative dots between the different tracks,” says Kirk Olson, VP of Trendsights at Horizon Media. “Sponsored posts, native advertising, real-time tweets about the interdisciplinary best of the fest. All of these can lead to sharing and incremental reach. It’s also the perfect time for brands to experiment with Instagram’s new carousel ad format.”