What a ride! Having just returned from SXSW in Austin, Texas, it's probably time for a sit down… and a Bloody Mary. It really was a heady mix of interactive seminars and events, great music (like everywhere), BBQ, tacos, and sun!
This is Danny’s main takeaway on SXSW 2022, our Client Partner who spent a week at the festival as part of the Department for International Trade’s mission, alongside a cohort of next-generation creative industry businesses and agencies. After touching down in the US, DIT hosted networking, roundtable discussions, workshops, and speaker sessions at the Cedar Street Courtyard. Each evening, this transformed into the British Music Embassy hosting the hottest new bands from the UK!
It was such a great experience for Digital Detox, as we got to meet so many people working across various creative industries and we’re feeling inspired, more connected and aware of what’s to come. Here’s a little summary of what we got up whilst we were there.
We hopped on the stage!
This was the third time we got to speak at SXSW but for the first time in person. Danny spoke about how digital sustainability is key to future-proofing your business. If the past few years have taught us one thing, it’s that we do not need to build less technology, but make digital processes better, smarter and more efficient, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
Following the COP26 call for businesses to lead the way in achieving Net Zero, Danny talked about how large enterprises can reduce their environmental impact, whilst continuing to evolve and transform their digital service offerings.
Key highlights at SXSW 2022
Danny wanted to share a few insights from his experience at SXSW as a first-time attendee and speaker:
- The best part was getting to present at the event. I spoke about digital sustainability and how we can influence things and make a difference in our interactive work. It was a brilliant experience and I learnt loads - I can’t wait to do it again.
- The most energetic presentation was ‘Brandemonium: Daring brands to do different and win’ from the incomparable Jon Buckhart and Lizi Hamer. A battle between brand activation projects including ‘live’ flying light bulbs.
- Mark Zuckerberg dropped in for a remote interview with IRL Daymond John (CEO of FUBU, and an investor on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank). Very insightful to hear why the rebrand and renaming of Meta was a decision to optimise the importance of the ongoing work to the entire ‘Facebook’ team.
- A strong focus on the metaverse throughout, virtual reality gaming and new generation technologies as we develop into the next evolution of the web.
- The overlapping interactive and music streams proved to be a brilliant way to make work connections that can then be bonded over some fine bands and a few drinks. I’m grateful to have met so many people with different backgrounds and stories and can’t wait to meet some of them in the UK.
- Austin has so much to offer as a city - you can catch an event, check out some music, bump into new friends or simply wander and see where you end up. I ended up at a party with Paris Hilton DJ’ing but that’s another story…
Looking forward to next year
And that’s a wrap. We’re very happy to have been part of such a diverse festival and experience in-person events again! It feels like we’re back to normality and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year!