FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2012 SXSW IMPACT ON THE AUSTIN ECONOMY TOTALS $190 MILLION
Austin, TX (October 4th, 2012) – Greyhill Advisors is proud to present the comprehensive economic impact of the 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film, Interactive, Edu and Eco Conferences and Festivals to the City of Austin. This analysis represents the sixth consecutive study to fully assess the unique nature of SXSW and its beneficial economic impact to the city. The impact of SXSW’s official events totaled $190 million for 2012.
The report may be downloaded here - SXSW 2012 Economic Impact Report.
In March 2012, South by Southwest (SXSW) hosted its 26th annual conference, trade show, and festival in Austin, Texas. SXSW has matured over the years into one of the world’s most celebrated gatherings of Film, Music, and Interactive professionals and is now making its mark in the fields of Education and Sustainability. Growth was the theme of SXSW, with the number of official registrants at its core March events increasing by more than 15 percent. While SXSW Interactive was the single largest contributor to the increases in attendance, SXSW Film and SXSW Music also enjoyed significant gains.
SXSW continues to be the single most profitable event for the City of Austin’s hospitality industry. In 2012, SXSW directly booked nearly 11,000 individual hotel reservations totaling 50,000‐plus room nights—an increase of more than 13 percent over the previous year.
The primary components of SXSW (Music, Film, and Interactive) delivered a depth and breadth of creative activity unmatched by any event in the world: 9 days of industry conferences, a 4‐day trade show, a 4‐day music gear expo, a 6‐night music festival (2,200 artists on more than 100 stages), and a 9‐day/night film festival (more than 425 screenings in 11 theatres). At 147,000, the total number of SXSW Conference and Festival participants (defined as any individual who attended at least one SXSW activity) set a new record.
SXSW also hosted numerous popular free‐to‐the‐public consumer events including the 3‐night Auditorium Shores concert series, the 4‐day Flatstock poster art show, and the 2‐day StyleX fashion expo. Turnout at these functions pushed the total number of participants to more than 300,000.
SXSW 2012 maintained the event’s remarkable reputation, offering an unparalleled convergence of the Music, Film, and Interactive industries. For 14 days each year, Austin becomes a global incubator where creative professionals can learn from both emerging leaders and established legends. While the international crossroads of ideas is the core value proposition of SXSW, the diverse conferences and festivals also provide Austin residents with a unique opportunity to join out‐of‐towners in an extraordinary display of creativity and entertainment. Both populations introduce and circulate money in the local economy.
SXSWedu, an extension SXSW Interactive, emerged as an attraction in its own right. Only in its second year, SXSWedu’s 4 days of programming and training emphasizing technology solutions for education professionals attracted more than 2,000 registrants from across the country—a healthy 250 percent increase over its first year in 2011. Last year, SXSW also launched SXSW Eco, a separate event in October dedicated to sustainability. In its inaugural year, SXSW Eco brought together some of the country’s most respected public and private thought leaders to explore challenges and solutions for the environment and civil society.
In 2012, SXSW was responsible for injecting more than $190.3 million into the Austin economy. This impact came from two categories:
Impact from SXSW Operations — This is a measurement of the direct, indirect, and induced local economic benefit of the year‐round operations of SXSW as well as event-specific expenditures by SXSW and its official parties and sponsors. In 2012, the impact of SXSW operations on the Austin economy exceeded $73.7 million.
Attendance Expenditures — This captures the direct, indirect, and induced local economic benefit of all attendees of the conference and festival. Attendees include official SXSW badge‐holders, industry professionals, and wristband holders, festival exhibitors, and single visitors of events as film screenings and music concerts. In 2012, SXSW attendance expenditures totaled more than $116.6 million.
In addition to SXSW expenditures and attendance, the 2012 SXSW economic impact analysis also considered the value of media coverage related to the festivals and conferences. In 2012, SXSW achieved over 392 million broadcast, print, and online impressions. The combined value of SXSW media coverage across television broadcasts, news stories, and sponsor advertising in 2012 was estimated at $34 million. The resulting calculations represent the most comprehensive attempt to properly quantify the fiscal impact SXSW’s “buzz” factor generates for the city of Austin.
About Greyhill Advisors: Greyhill Advisors is an economic analysis, economic development and site selection consulting firm with offices in Austin, TX and New York, NY. Greyhill represents a team of seasoned professionals with hands on experience performing economic analysis, assisting leading companies in their location decisions and working with communities to expand their economic potential. For more information, visit www.greyhill.com.
About South by Southwest: The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, emerging technologies, education and sustainability. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.
Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW®, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events' conclusion.