SXSW started out as a back in 1987 in Austin, where organizers expected 150 people to show up. “It was meant to be a regional event for five or six states,” co-founder of the event Louis Black once told the Daily Texan. “But it was national almost immediately.”
The founders probably never anticipated what they meant to be a small event to balloon to global proportions. Last year, the number of people who attended at least one SXSW event set a new record: 155,000. The social media buzz surrounding the conference has also reached new heights – this year’s festival drew over 2.2 million mentions on social media from around the world.
According to data from Synthesio, a social media monitoring platform, SXSW Interactive drew the most social media activity with over 142,000 mentions. That’s unsurprising, given the conference’s role as a startup accelerator. The film portion of the conference drew 127,000 mentions, and the music portion got over 53,000 mentions.
The most popular topics driving social conversation from this year’s conference were the films Joe and Break Point from SXSW Film, and Lady Gaga from SXSW Music. People talked about SXSW in 36 languages from 203 countries.
For more insights, check out the infographic:
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