SXSW - © Merrick Ales
SXSW-FAQ © Emily Morter/Unsplash

FAQs about South by Southwest

SXSW app, 36 tracks and comfy shoes essential in Austin

The world’s biggest digital festival, South by Southwest, kickstarts Friday (March 9) in Austin, Texas. Over 70,000 delegates from 90 countries are set to attend more than 2,000 events underway until March 18. Keeping an overview of all these exciting happenings is vital. Hamburg News answers the most FAQs about SXSW!

What is the South by Southwest?

This year’s 31st South by Southwest, the world’s biggest international digital, media and music conference, becomes the place to be for the creative and tech start-up scene. The latest trends are presented and in the past, high calibre guests have included the U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. This is where Twitter had it’s breakthrough.

What’s on at SXSW?

The SXSW interactive, film and music conference features 36 tracks. The digital conference (interactive) sector features seven tracks ranging from health, intelligent future right up to brands and marketing. This year’s key trends at SXSW 2018 include artificial intelligence, virtual reality and block chain technology. The Austin Convention Center is the main hub of activity, but events spill over into nearby locations as well. During the ten-day festival, downtown Austin become a veritable networking hotspot.

Die einzelnen Tracks der SXSW
Die einzelnen Tracks der SXSW © SXSW

How long has the event been in existence?

Originally founded purely as a music festival, SXSW has long since morphed into the world’s most important digital and creative festival. In 1986, a small group of people met in Austin, Texas for a series of long discussions about the future of entertainment and media. All were agreed that the local creative and music scene was as talented as anywhere else on the planet. However, a lack of exposure outside of Austin was severely limiting the creative potential in the region. Thus, the group hit on the idea of SXSW.

What is Hamburg doing at SXSW?

Germany’s presentation at SXSW is the biggest presentation of German culture and the creative sector abroad. In 2018, over 1,000 experts from Germany will head to Texas. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM) and the Reeperbahn Festival are sending a delegation including several start-ups to present Hamburg and it’s creative sector as an attractive economic location featuring many artists and musicians as well. The “Reeperbahn Hamburgers”, opposite the Convention Center is likely to become a meeting point for networking over north German dishes and snacks. This where HamburgTexConncect becomes a matchmaking point for Hamburg-based companies with investors, reporters, journalists and U.S. multipliers who converge here at the centre of action on Digital Media Woman Day.

How do I navigate SXSW?

“Preparation is everything,” said Sanja Stankovic, expert on SXSW and co-founder of Hamburg Startups. Choose two must-see events every day. All others are optional. In this way, the flow of events becomes easier to manage. Your essentials include a well-charged mobile phone and installed SXSW app – your personal event guide. Don’t forget sun lotion, sunglasses and comfortable shoes!

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