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South By Southwest Gets Interactive With Uberflip

If you’re a tech, music or film fan, there’s a good chance you’ve been to - or at least heard of - South by Southwest (SXSW), the mega-festival in Austin, Texas that attracts thousands of attendees each year. We were no exception, heading down for the interactive portion of the festival to mix, mingle and even co-host a party with our friends at Marketo. 

Luckily, regardless of whether we’re able to attend next year, Uberflip will always be with SXSW in spirit  - through Flipbooks (which supercharge your PDFs) and their upcoming Hub! Not only have the folks at SXSW turned their SXSWorld online magazine into an interactive experience with Flipbooks, they’re launching their SXSW Hub in the next few months as they get in gear for the 2015 festival.

We spoke with Melissa Golding,  Digital Content Manager of SXSW, about switching to Flipbooks and why they’re pumped to reveal their future Hub to festival-goers and enthusiasts.

Making PDFs “unboring”

SXSWorld is the festival’s magazine for registrants, covering the film, music and interactive industries to keep people “in the know and in the now”. Each issue starts with “SXSW Memories”, “New and Noteworthy” and “A Look Back” sections before leading into highlights like February’s feature on Neil deGrasse’s reboot of the beloved COSMOS. 

Though the magazine was designed with registrants in mind, the SXSW team knew that it could appeal to anyone interested in music, film or tech, and were looking for an ideal way to share it with everyone - not just attendees. 

“Flipbooks were a natural choice,” Melissa said, “We love the way they look, they’re quick to make, can be hosted on our site and are really shareable. Since we’re using SXSWorld as a way to let people know more about the festival and are looking to increase our readership, that was key.”

The way the magazine looks is just one piece of the puzzle, though. They also wanted to spice up their content by turning what are essentially static pages into an interactive experience 

“We wanted something more interesting than a traditional PDF,” explained Melissa.

Since then, they’ve turned 17 editions of SXSWorld into engaging Flipbook experiences that live on the SXSW site and can continue to be enjoyed and shared by readers. Check out this November 2013 issue and this issue from way back in March 2011 for an idea. 

Coming Soon: One Mighty Hip Hub

Much to our delight, the SXSW crew seems to have been bitten by the Uberflip bug (symptoms are a burning desire to supercharge your content and newfound love of hot pink). After seeing the difference Flipbooks made for the magazine, SXSW now want to pull all of their content together to create an all-in-one content experience with their Flipbooks as one part of the package. 

“We want to have one big Hub with all of our content to give people a snapshot of what we’re up to, events, industry news, and so on,” says Melissa. “A Hub is a unique and visually appealing way to display that information. We’re really excited about how it’s turning out.”

The rollout of the SXSW Hub is set to happen in August when they relaunch all of their materials for next year’s festival, including a new logo and new website (something that happens every summer). 

And while it’s still early in the game, the next step is to create different Hubs for customers and/or events, to showcase more targeted content.

“We’d love to to be able to build out different Hubs that cater to specific interests,” adds Melissa.

Us too! We can’t wait for everything to come together and see what’s next for SXSW and Uberflip. 

About the Author

Hayley is a former Uberflip Community Manager. If you have followed Uberflip on any of our social media channels for the past few years, you may already be familiar with Hayley's past work.

Profile Photo of Hayley Mullen