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SXSW Cancelled – How Businesses Can Respond To Coronavirus

SXSW Cancelled – How Businesses Can Respond To Coronavirus

Posted Thursday, March 13th

Posted Monday, March 9th

Since the SXSW cancellation video was posted on Friday the following things have happened:

  • Lombardi region in Italy is quarantined
  • US State Department advised going on cruises
  • Oil futures dropped 30% over night as price wars between Saudi Arabia, Russia and US heated up, resulting in a cooling of oil costs
  • Currently the stock market is trading after opening 7% lower and a 15 minute pause in trading after triggering a tripwire. 
  • Bank stocks are being hammered with 8-10% losses
  • Crypto markets are down dramatically with losses in the 10-15% range
So what can businesses do? Here is a review of the core ideas:
  • Deploy work from home setups using setups like Zoom, Slack, email and phone
  • Change marketing messages to focus on safety, security, and ongoing vigilance
  • Communicating clear efforts to re-assure customers and constituents
  • Change offering to online and digital offerings where available
  • For programmatic advertisers consider blocking ads on pages mentioning coronavirus, especially if you are in the travel, hospitality or destination business
  • Focus on the local market
    • Universal Studios
    • Bowling alleys
    • Local get-aways
  • B2B marketers should be creating digital meetings powered by tools like Zoom
  • Start a podcast as a great way for people to get to know you in lieu of in-person meetings

Posted Friday March 6th

It has been 48 hours since local Austin, TX, leaders have cancelled the annual technology, entertainment, and arts festival SXSW in an abundance of caution over coronavirus.

To give you a sense of the scale of this cancellation the SXSW conference attracts 400,000 visitors and has an expected economic benefit of $350MM to $500MM for the city.

So, to cancel an event of that size is monumental, and I think it marks a shift in the seriousness of coronavirus.

On my podcast – – a forum to share ideas on how to grow and scale businesses – I interviewed Kristen Anderson, Co-Founder and CEO of Catch. I met Kristen through Twitter immediately after the SXSW cancellation. Listen to the podcast episode below to hear her experiences with the SXSW cancellation. We discuss how this big change affects her business and marketing plans for 2020.

Finally, I posted a video on YouTube going into details about why I think this SXSW2020 cancellation is a big deal for the business outlook in 2020.

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