Who Goes to SXSW, Anyway? [CHART]

by Egan Cheung on Sunday, March 11, 2012 in Marketing Measurement

SXSW 2012 is under way, and over 5,000 companies have sent over 10,000 delegates to this hugely influential conference with what will almost certainly be over 20,000 participants.

Just how influential is it?  Well, I was curious, so I took the unwieldy PDF list of who's coming by company and title from the SXSW press release page, and charted out the distribution by delegation size.  The vast majority of companies send just one representative to the conference with approximately equal distribtuions coming from companies sending between 3 and 9 people. sxsw-attendance

A handful of companies are sending very large delegations, including many product managers from Dell, a wide variety of folks from Google, and not surprisingly, a slew of iTunes/App store representatives from Apple.  Also setting up mega-camps are agencies Digitas and Energy BBDO.

But one thing surprised me.  I expected to see a tonne of one or two-person startup CEOs to be there in the hopes that they will launch the next foursqare, but I did not expect the trend for CEO attendance to increase with delegation size.  10% of 1-person shops sent their CEO, but for companies sending between 10 and 20 delegates, 29% also shipped their head honcho!

It seems SXSW is becoming a can't miss event for marketers and chief executives alike.  If you are looking for some Eloqua content while there, check out Joe Chernov talking about the "State of Social Marketing" tomorrow, or Jesse Noyes on "Brand Journalism in the Real World" on Monday.


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