South by Southwest 2014 Kicks Off 3/7
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.