A version of this post previously appeared on EdelmanDigital.com

Grabbing attention at SXSW is no small feat. With an endless sea of sessions, networking opportunities and events, marketers need to think of innovative ways to get people to pay attention to their content – and to share it. So, how can you break through the noise to create a lasting impression (while increasing brand awareness) to a highly social SXSW audience?

By giving them an experience they won’t forget that goes beyond the screen.

This was my first year attending the festival, and I have to admit there was a lot to take in. I wasn’t sure what to expect but knew that I’d go home feeling inspired being among the first to hear about the latest emerging platforms and tech that would influence the industry and be a hot topic of conversation. But beyond the realm of VR and AI technology – which were very much a part of key discussions at SXSW – were surprising venues that transported attendees to truly immersive experiences.

The combination of experiential and digital marketing strategies to elevate brand awareness and generate buzz during a competitive festival was highly effective. This approach packaged with impactful messaging extended beyond Austin’s city limits. TV networks and brands alike leveraged experiential pop-ups to draw audiences in and encourage capturing the moment for social sharing, with hashtag reminders and photo ops throughout the space. This allowed participants to connect with the brand on a different level than simply reacting to posts in algorithmic timelines.

Maggie Cassion is global digital marketing lead, Edelman.

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