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South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals in Austin, Texas, continues to educate attendees on the emerging trends in technology. 

Here are some of the top trends the ReviewTrackers team heard at SXSW this year.

Staying Relevant in Changing Industries  

Chris Campbell, our CEO, says, “Digital transformation is happening quickly to a lot of large organizations. Businesses are trying to figure out how to adapt to new environments –  environments where Amazon is the standard and Airbnb doesn’t own any hotels, but it’s the largest hotel in the world.”

The changes that are happening inside businesses and industries is evolving how we do business, Chris says. Companies must stay relevant.

Chris spoke on a panel about how to leverage venture-enabled innovation to accelerate growth with speakers from TechNexus and LosantHQ at the Comcast Lounge.

Personalizing Conversations with Consumers

Customer personalization was a highlight trend this year. There were several panel discussions about about the importance of personalization.

At More Data, More Problems: Transparency in 2018, panelists discussed how agencies, brands, and data providers can better work together to make sure data is being used in the right way for consumers.

At another panel, Reading Signals: The New Segmentation, speakers from Facebook discussed how the experience and customers are important no matter the medium – both online and offline.

A key theme across panels was the importance of storytelling, especially during a time of intense competition for customers’ attention. Consumers want to feel emotion and gain value from content. A brand’s content must be more than advertising – the content has to be of value to the consumer.

Virtual Reality “Matures”  

Virtual reality is here to stay. It’s become an important tool in the arts, medicine, business and entertainment, according to SXSW’s programming trends.

There were at least five different panel discussions on virtual reality.

Too Much Technology?

One theme was at this year’s SXSW is the potential downside of technology, according to Bazaarvoice.

Panelists in a variety of sessions discussed the difficulty of balancing data and technology with human creativity. When does technology begin to limit creativity?

At the talk, Technology’s Impact on Digital Storytelling, speakers from DreamWorks said that although technology plays a role in the creative process, it’s the artists who make a good story, not the technology.

Megan Wenzl

Megan is the Associate Editor for ReviewTrackers. She's a writer who is committed to finding useful information to help your business succeed. Megan holds an M.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.


  1. Gloria M. Peguero

    Technology is ever-present at SXSW, and AI is a hot topic at this year’s festival, with nearly 50 panels on the topic alone. Ethics, regulation, development and marketing are just some of the discussions around AI this year, but using the technology to solve problems is a running theme.

    On March 12, Quantcast is hosting a panel on how AI will transform every aspect of the customer journey and how marketers can develop their own AI strategies.

    Blockchain, including concurrency, has become a disruptive force in the marketing industry, a subject explored by SXSW’s Intelligent Future track. There are nearly 30 panels on blockchain and its implications at SXSW this year—a testament to how the technology is impacting our world.

  2. Samantha

    This is some great information for businesses who are looking to stay up to date on the latest technological trends for their business. Technology is everywhere now and constantly changing. If you think about it only about 20 years ago nobody really used the internet to connect with customers now it is a must for any business.