Poll: Majority of American Adults Have Never Heard of SXSW

South by Southwest may be a highly anticipated event for the tech industry, but most Americans aren’t aware of the 10-day event kicking off Friday.

It’s not that they don’t know about any industry conferences. The Sundance Film Festival, for example, is an event that a majority of U.S. adults know about, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. Fifty-nine percent of adults said they have heard of Sundance, 32 percent said they have not heard of Sundance. In contrast, 56 percent of people said they have not heard of South by Southwest, also known as SXSW.

Only 16 percent of people report having attended a large industry conference, and 26 percent say they would consider attending one. Twenty-three percent said they have subscribed to a newsletter devoted to an industry of interest.

Awareness of SXSW increases among people ages 18-29 and 30-44, with 37 percent and 44 percent, respectively, saying they have heard of the festival. Sundance, in contrast, is more well known among an older crowd. Sixty-two percent of both people in the 30-44 and the 45-54-year-old demographic said they have heard of Sundance as well.

People who have a higher income or post-graduate degree are more likely to stay on top of what’s happening in industries that matter to them. Overall, 41 percent of people say they have discussed progress in industries they are interested in with family or friends, as did 47 percent of people aged 18-29 and 51 percent of people aged 30-44. Sixty-seven percent of people with a post-graduate degree and 67 percent of people who make $100,000 or more annually say they’re prone to talking about industry advancements.

Representatives for Sundance and SXSW were not immediately available for comment.

Polling was conducted between March 2 and 6 among 2,200 adults. See full results here and here.

Morning Consult