Are you stoked it’s that time of year again? In just a day, Austin will welcome tens of thousands of people to SXSW 2015 to explore the latest in technology, music, and film. And of course, the chatter in Texas is heating up by the minute!

NetBase looked at how social media about SXSW changed over the years to see what 2015 might have in store. If your objective is to follow SXSW trends in real-time, then check out our new SXSW NetBase LIVE Pulse™.

How Big will SXSW Get this Year?

Looking back at the social numbers, we’ve noted changes in mentions and passion for the event across social media in the 3 weeks prior, during, and after SXSW.

In 2013, the event gained 2,680K mentions, 74% Net Sentiment and 66 Passion Intensity. Net Sentiment and Passion Intensity are ways we at NetBase quantify sentiment of the social audience. Net Sentiment measures the ratio of positive and negative emotions in the posts towards the topic. Passion Intensity measures the strength of an emotion towards a topic. An example is: do people like SXSW or do they really love it this year?

In 2014, there were 3,302K mentions (that’s a +23% increase over 2013), 67% Net Sentiment (less liked than year before) and 64 Passion Intensity.

The excitement for 2015 is still building, and already there are over 600K mentions. Interestingly, people seem more excited about this year’s event, as both Net Sentiment and Passion Intensity are well above the 2013 and 2014 levels. Net Sentiment is at 85% and Passion Intensity is at an enviable 86 points.

But what do all these numbers mean? We’ve visualized this info in a Brand Passion Index™ that maps out Share of Voice, Net Sentiment, and Passion Intensity. Please note, we’ve only looked at pre- SXSW chatter for this year.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

While we can’t wait to see how SXSW will unfold this year, let’s take a quick moment to remember the most talked about moments from the last two years.

Here are the most memorable moments of 2013 according to social media:

  • Dave Grohl’s keynote
  • Vine was all the rage
  • Justin Timberlake MySpace Party (closing SXSW)
  • Founder of Zappos talks about Vegas (Tony Hsieh)
  • Selena Gomez on stage at Spring Breakers
  • Google Glass was all the Craze (8,000 individuals as Glass explorers)
  • Al Gore taking a swing at ‘stalker economy’

In 2014, these ten things were memorable and talked about:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Edward Snowden (beamed in)
  • ‘Tyler, The Creator’ starts a Riot
  • Jay Z Surprise show with Kanye West
  • Best Panel at RYOT

And Now for the First Time Ever…

Drumroll, please… For the first time, we will unlock what is trending in social for the SXSW Audience! Using new technology and our patented platform, we’ve built out the 400K SXSW follower audience and brought it to life in the SXSW NetBase LIVE Pulse™, in partnership with Brand Innovators.

This powerful, real-time data visualization lets you know what’s trending, who are the most influential voices, and which images are popping every minute of the day and night. Handy for your phone, tablet, or screen.

The NetBase LIVE Pulse is completely free to you, simply download this link and dive in to SXSW as it unfolds. We’ll also send you a complimentary review of the most memorable moments of SXSW2015 after we get back from the event.