Artificial intelligence, metaverse, IOT or blockchain - if you want to find out about current and future trends in the digital and marketing business, you will inevitably end up at South by Southwest (SXSW): The festival in Austin/USA, which has its origins in rock and country music in 1987, is now also one of the largest and most important media and tech conferences in the world. Year after year, topics are set and discussed here that will directly and sustainably change the lives of consumers - and thus also determine the opportunities and challenges for marketing and media in the future.


SXSW is the world's most important conference for trends and innovations in marketing, technology and future topics. Every year, decision-makers and thought leaders come together in Austin, Texas to be inspired by the unique combination of industry expertise, future visions of the most important companies and the latest trends. At SXSW, the topics that will permanently change the lives of consumers in the coming years and thus determine the opportunities and challenges for marketing and media of the future will be set and discussed. Visitors can expect a colourful programme of hundreds of lectures, conferences, discussion panels and trade exhibitions.

Daily SXSW 2024

The Evolution of AI: From Hype to Real-World Impact

As we gear up for SXSW Interactive 2024, the spotlight once again turns to Artificial Intelligence. Last year's conference buzzed with excitement over AI's potential, but this year, expectations have matured. The focus is now on tangible outcomes: How is AI driving creativity, influencing media, and making a real business impact? Beyond the dazzle of new AI applications, a pressing dialogue is emerging about regulation. With critical elections on the horizon worldwide, the intersection of AI and disinformation is a topic of utmost importance.

Spatial Computing: Redefining Digital Realities

The concept of the Metaverse, once a buzzword, is evolving into what we now understand as Spatial Computing. Apple's Vision Pro has infused this domain with fresh energy, marking a significant shift in how we perceive virtual and mixed realities. SXSW, with its deep roots in entertainment and film, is the perfect stage to showcase creative ideas and future narratives in these newly envisioned digital spaces.

The Tech Landscape: Pivots and Possibilities

The technology sector has faced its share of challenges over the past two years, including widespread layoffs and declining stock prices. This year at SXSW, the burning question is: What's next? Will the industry's giants pivot entirely towards AI and Spatial Computing, or will they surprise us with divergent innovations?

Gaming: Finding New Ground Post-Pandemic

The gaming industry, a clear winner during the pandemic, experienced an unprecedented boom in 2023. However, beneath the surface of this success story lies a narrative of struggle: mass layoffs, declining esports investments, and Twitch's battle against emerging competitors. SXSW 2024 is poised to delve into the future of gaming. What new focuses will emerge? How will the industry adapt to its current challenges? And crucially, what does this mean for brands looking to engage in the gaming space?

In the world of SXSW 2024, poetry collides with planetary exploration, AI intersects with the crisis of journalism, and non-obvious thinking reshapes brand strategy. In Austin, the next crisis, breakthrough trends and opportunities are just around the corner – where innovation meets inspiration at the intersection of art and science.


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At SXSW this year, a prevailing theme across marketing sessions was the pronounced focus on culture media, managing hype cycles, and devising original content ideas. With a shift from demographic targeting to cultural, community and niche interest, along with creator content taking a leading role in campaigns, SXSW is undeniably at the cutting edge of delivering insightful perspectives.


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Despite the ever-expanding range of topics and content, SXSW Interactive is still a tech conference at heart. The biggest buzz in tech at this year’s conference is (obviously) AI, but spatial computing and its potential use cases, from mixed reality productivity to VR experiences, are a close second.


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One of the most fun things about SXSW is that even if you come for a specific type of insight – in our case, anything related to marketing, technology and (digital) culture – the sheer length of the conference allows you to see a lot of different things. Today, NASA hosted an entertaining opening session featuring an all-female panel of NASA scientists and two astronauts with a live video feed from the ISS – there are certainly less inspiring ways to start the day.


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If you had to describe SXSW 2024 and the feeling we’re leaving Austin with this year in a few words – you’d probably come up with an analogy that corresponds to the eve of a really big event or a drastic new phase of life. A long and exciting adventure trip with no specific destination, leaving behind much that is familiar. A pitch in an unfamiliar field, where you are still fine-tuning the details until the very end or a space mission where everything just feels three sizes bigger and more important. The overriding feeling is somewhere between anticipation, nervousness and sheer panic, because despite all the routine and habit – what we think we know and what is actually coming – there is a lot of uncertainty.


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Our Experts

Alexander Turtschan

Alexander Turtschan - Director Innovation I Mediaplus Group

Alex Turtschan has been working at House of Communication since 2009 and, as Director Innovation, advises Mediaplus clients on trend and innovation topics. A passionate gamer since childhood, he now loves to play action adventure games when he's not watching esports tournaments and gameplay on Twitch.

Simone Jocham

Simone Jocham - Senior Consultant Innovation I Mediaplus Group

Simone Jocham has been working in planning and strategic consulting for digital media within the Mediaplus Group since 2017 and has been part of the Mediaplus Digital Trailblazer network since it was founded in 2019. In addition to influencer projects, she is particularly interested in Gen-Z, what drives this generation and what makes them so special.

March 8th - 16th 2024 | Austin, Texas

Mediaplus SXSW 2024 Webinar


In April, we invite you to our recap webinar. We will summarise the most exciting trends, topics, learnings, insights and impressions for you and prepare them for a general overview. We will also analyse what impact the content of the trade fair has on our daily business and how we can make concrete use of it. The exact date will follow in good time!

Mediaplus SXSW 2024 Trendreport

Trend Report

After the event, you will receive our SXSW Trend Report with the latest opportunities and challenges for your company.

Mediaplus SXSW 2024 Download Flyer

SXSW 2024 Flyer

You will receive the Mediaplus flyer for SXSW 2024 with all the information about the conference, insights into the tracks and the top speakers.

Mediaplus SXSW 2023 Austin Rueckblick

SXSW 2023 - Recap

Take a look back with us at SXSW 2023, where our colleague Alex Turtschan was on site, providing exciting daily insights and a recap of last year's conference.

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Sabine Rössing
Sabine Rössing
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