As a unique platform for the global creative economy, South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals remain the largest annual convergence event in the world. Since the early 2000s, registration has grown by more than 50% and each year one-fifth to one-fourth of total registrants come from outside of the United States. In 2013, sixty-four countries were represented and international bands made up one-quarter of the 2000+ showcasing bands.
The Boston Globe explains the international appeal of SXSW: “Austin’s chilled-out attitude, as evidenced by its accommodation of a multi-headed mega-festival, creates something important: an easy setting in which locals and visitors from around the world can meet each other, bounce ideas around, and make business contacts.”
For 2014, first-time delegations from Brazil and Italy will join Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Quebec, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the UK in the SXSW Trade Show. In addition, private companies from eight other countries, including Malaysia, Honduras, India and Poland will be exhibitors.
The UK, Brazil, Singapore and The Netherlands will participate in SXSW’s premium business-to-business matching program, the Platinum Connection, which offers a curated agenda of one-on-one meetings with key SXSW delegates for international exhibitors. The Dutch government has identified SXSW as an event of strategic national interest.
In the SXSW Startup Village, the conference hub for emerging entrepreneurs and the investment community, the UK, Ireland and Brazil will present programming featuring their most promising startup companies.
Music From Ireland is celebrating its tenth year at SXSW and cites the many Irish bands whose careers have been launched at the event including the Frames, Snow Patrol and Bellx1.
Australia and Canada are seeing their largest-ever SXSW participation – Australia in both number of registrations and number of showcasing bands; Canada in impact. Canada will have its largest presence ever in the SXSW Trade Show, incorporating many Canadian tech companies. The Aussie delegation at SXSW is the biggest number of Australian creative professionals ever assembled at one time in North America, according to Austrade, the Australian Trade Commission. Quebec, known as Planet Quebec during SXSW, will also have a large representation in the Trade Show.
Thirteen companies will be exhibiting as part of the Japanese Pavilion. One of SXSW’s first international clients, Japan will host their annual Japan Nite at SXSW, which has been a SXSW tradition for the past 18 years. A Singapore National Pavilion and “Geeks from Gangnam,” South Korea’s branded presence in the trade show, round out the national stands from Asia.
SXSW 2014 sees Argentina and Chile return for a second year in the Trade Show. Brazil is making its SXSW debut with the sixth-largest international delegation at the conference. This is the first time that the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency has organized a project for an international trade show around Brazil’s creative industries.
“For the first time, Brazil will have a national presence at SXSW,” said Mauricio Borges, President of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil). “We have organized the Casa Brasil to showcase our most innovative and cutting-edge business value propositions and we are supporting 21 startups as well as 12 other Brazilian companies to meet with international investors. We will show the 60,000 professionals who attend SXSW that Brazil is an excellent business partner and that we have innovative entrepreneurs in all areas of the economy.”
Spotlighting the international creative stage, SXSW presents SXAméricas, a series of events geared to connect U.S. Latino and Latin American technology, music, and film industry thought leaders. Taking place Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 12, SXAméricas will serve as the launch pad to network, share innovative ideas, and create new partnerships across all creative industries from North America, South America, Spain, and Central America. As part of our convergence programming, registrants are welcome to attend the SXAméricas Cocktail Party and a series of Latino-focused speeches and roundtable discussions at the Austin Convention Center.
In addition to the SXSWAméricas events, Interactive will launch a complementary Latinos in Technology Track to explore the impact of the Hispanic voice on technology and technology impacted sectors and, in turn, the influence of technology on the Hispanic voice. The program will run from March 7 – 9 at the Holiday Inn and will focus on the experience of digital designers, developers, entrepreneurs, trend-setters and visionaries from the Latino community.
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals being held March 7-16, 2014 in Austin, Texas, offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. 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. 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. For more information or to register, please go to sxsw.com.
SXSW® 2014 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Monster Energy, Esurance, Chevrolet, AT&T, IFC, Subway, The Austin Chronicle, Sonicbids, Deloitte, American Express and Pennzoil.