SXSW Events Had a $218 Million Impact on Austin in 2013

Chris Anderson interviewing Elon Musk at SXSW Interactive 2013, photo courtesy of SXSW

Chris Anderson interviewing Elon Musk at SXSW Interactive 2013, photo courtesy of SXSW

South by Southwest 2013’s Music, Film, Interactive, Edu and Eco Conferences had a $218 economic impact on Austin in 2013.
The two-week long SXSW conference in March was the largest ever. The conference expanded into new venues and had an even greater economic impact, according to a study by Greyhill Advisors.
The conference has grown in popularity in the past several years and has become a popular place for creative professionals to meet, network and share ideas.
“SXSW continues to be a truly remarkable event for Austin,” Austin Chamber President Michael Rollins said in a news release. “This festival not only brings the world’s attention to Austin’s strengths in community, creativity and commerce, but also provides opportunities to spotlight and support our small businesses which work tirelessly to prepare for – and engage with – the festival’s record-setting attendance of over 155,000. Every year we see more quantitative and qualitative benefits from SXSW, and are thrilled to see what the future holds.”
More than 41,700 people attended SXSW events in 2013 and the number of platinum all-access badgeholders grew by 60 percent. SXSW is “the single most profitable event” for Austin’s hospitality industry. Here’s a few statistics from the report on its impact:
• 9 days of industry conferences, a 4-day trade show, a 6-night music festival featuring more than 2,200 bands, and a 9-day film festival with more than 400 screenings.
• In 2013, SXSW directly booked 13,000 individual hotel reservations totaling 56,000-plus room nights—a 10 percent increase over 2012. Fueled by limited capacity and an overall increase in spending by registrants the average nightly hotel rate jumped 20 percent to nearly $255.
• At nearly 155,000, the total number of 2013 SXSW Conference and Festival participants (defined as any individual who attended at least one SXSW activity) exceeded all previous records.
• SXSW’s popular free-to-the-public consumer events, including the 3-night Auditorium Shores concert series, the 2-day Digital Creatives Job Market, 4-day Flatstock poster art show, 1-day Edu Future Plans Fair, 3-day Music Gear Expo and the 3-day SXSW Gaming Expo, attracted an additional 150,000 participants.

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