Hugh Forrest


10 Cool Changes for SXSW 2017

The Forrest Four-Cast: February 5, 2017

Each new year brings many many new changes to March Magic in Austin — and change is a good thing. Ten of the tweaks that we are most excited about for SXSW 2017 include:

  1. New Badge System Enhances Your Investment. We have significantly improved the functional and flexibility for all SXSW badgeholders for 2017. Learn about all the new opportunities for learning and connecting via this short video.
  2. Best of the Best at the Super Accelerator. The 10 category winners for the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event square off against each other on the afternoon of Monday, March 13 to determine the best / most impresive startup at this year’s event.
  3. Media 2.0: The New “Journalism” Track. One of the new tracks for SXSW 2017 is Journalism (March 11–16), which explores all the positive (and negative) impacts when the media and technology intersect.
  4. Narrative Next: The New “Experiential Storytelling” Track. Scheduled March 12–14, this new track investigates how immersive entertainment and other experimental strategies are redefining the ways in which audiences absorb narrative content.
  5. More Tech-Focused Content on March 15–16. Stay longer in the week to attend more content in the Brands & Marketing, Intelligent Future, Journalism, Social Impact, Startup Village and Tech Industry tracks. Also remember that you will likely find more hotel options in the Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16 timeframe.
  6. The Next Four Years: “Tech Under Trump.”On Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16, attend 18 sessions that cover how the policies and politics of the new administration will strengthen and weaken America’s ever-evolving technology sector.
  7. The SXSW Health Expo Goes Big. What was once a smaller / separate event now becomes part of the larger whole as the SXSW Health Expo becomes a part of the giant SXSW Trade Show, March 12–15 at the Austin Convention Center.
  8. Debut of the SXSW Marketplace. Scheduled March 16–18 at the Austin Convention Center, the first-ever SXSW Marketplace features dozens of local, national, and global brands.
  9. New Day for the SXSW Community Service Awards. Formerly known as the Deweys, the SXSW Community Services Awards moves to the evening of Monday, March 13. This celebration of top tech do-gooders from across the United States and around the world is FREE — no badge needed to attend.
  10. SXSW Gaming Breaks Away. For 2017, SXSW Gaming emerges as its own event. Your SXSW Interactive, Music, Film, or Platinum badge will still get you in — or purchase a SXSW Gaming Wristband if you only want to attend this portion of SXSWeek.

Buy your badge before the end of the day on February 10 to save $100 on the walkup price for SXSW 2017. Then book your Austin lodging via the SXSW Housing Department.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.

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