The History of #SXSW [Infographic]

by contributor on March 2, 2011 in Social Media

There are two basic ways to grow a business.

  1. Gobble up as much as much of the current pie as you can.
  2. Bake a bigger pie.

It’s with this “bigger pie” strategy in mind that Eloqua is sponsoring this year’s SXSW Interactive Conference.

But we are doing more than setting up a booth and hoping some marketers drop by for a visit.  We are moderating a panel in which, along with the top names in media, we will explore the heady question: Has the message become the messenger?  We are hosting a party with partner Bulldog Solutions and make a donation to a local Austin, TX charity for every Gowalla or Foursquare check in (RSVP on Facebook).  And we are creating lots of content.

In fact, we collaborated with design partner JESS3 to produce an infographic, titled “The History of SXSW,” which celebrates the festival’s impact on the cultures of music, film and technology.  We also dug up (and visualized) a massive number of did-you-know facts about the epic festival.  Following are just a few.  For the rest, you’ll have to download the infographic.  But once you do, feel free to share it on Twitter, on your blog, wherever you want.  Creative Commons says it’s ok.

1987: The first “South by Southwest” festival (and conference) is held in Austin, Texas. 150 attendees are expected, but more than 700 show up. According to Black, the event went “national almost immediately”

1990: First mention of “SXSW” as the conference’s nickname in a major U.S. publication (well done, LA Times)

1992: Shifting directions, Willie Nelson delivers a welcome speech instead of a keynote. But he is upstaged by singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked, who shocks the crowd with a controversial speech about race

1997: Over 2,000 attend one of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne’s “Parking Lot Experiments”, where he plays 30 synchronized car stereos in a parking garage at Seventh and Brazos

1999: A major thunderstorm floods Emo’s and forces cancellation of all outdoor events, including a Willie Nelson concert at Stubb’s

2003: Haven’t heard of SXSW Music keynote speaker is Daniel Lanois? You should know he produced such albums as U2′s “The Joshua Tree”, Peter Gabriel’s “So” and Bob Dylan’s “Time Out of Mind”

2006: Interactive keynote speakers include founders from two of the Internet’s most disruptive websites: Craig Newmark of Craigslist and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia

2007: A plucky little messaging service makes a big splash at SXSW: Twitter

2009: Future Academy Award Best Picture-winner “The Hurt Locker” has its U.S. premiere

(Click to enlarge & download)

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