SXSW Austin – and New London Show Announced

By David Keene

May 29, 2024 – SXSW in Austin hardly needs an introduction. Except, perhaps, to the pro AV community, for whom it’s not really been on the radar or registered on any must-attend list that includes CES, NAB, InfoComm, and the like. That could change, as SXSW drifts a little closer to more mature markets’ concerns, and as the pro AV community broadens its horizons. You just missed the big SXSW in Austin, it happens every March. OK, but you have about a year to plan for SXSW 2025 – and if you’ve never been, you should go. And SXSW has just announced a new London edition.

If you come from say the InfoComm or NAB world, I describe SXSW like this: 35% of what you do at SXSW, will be applicable to your job; 25% will be for professional/personal growth and enlightenment; 20% will be for fun – a spring break for grownups down in Austin. And 20% will be a complete waste of time (mumblecore “panel sessions’ where celebrity rules and nothing much is said). Crazy math, you might say (or more likely your boss will say).

But I can vouch for this: the parts that are worth it, are really worth it – because no other event even attempts what they pull off. You’ll see technology in a different light, i.e. what it might do beyond its specs, into the realm of improving the world. You’ll see and hear thought leaders from outside of your own insular industry, that will inspire you. And you’ll see with your own eyes how the tech for corporate and edu applications is tied up into what’s happening in music, and film. And, don’t leave out, you’ll see the future because the show demographics skew young.

There really is no other conference or trade show like it – it’s famously a messy (in terms of logistics and organization) mashup that draws thousands every year. “SXSW Interactive” draws some 20,000 corporate badges every year, and is the portion of the event that most closely aligns with pro Video and AV. But at SXSW that landscape has often been mapped differently than how some of the core tech communities define them, to encompass any and everything from autonomous cars to consumer Apps to entertainment in all forms to – more recently – AI and VR.  And the last couple of years at SXSW have seen a refreshing broadening of conference activity – combined with deeper dives –  into the most urgent tech-related issues that are transforming every aspect of society, including:

  • Smart Cities – rethinking the running and management of our cities, with the help of new technology and data tools
  • Modernizing Government Tech beyond just Smart Cities – Transporation; Cyber; Defense; Trade issues
  • Data visualization way beyond Apps – that plays into the strengths of larger tech communities such as NAB, CES, ISE, InfoComm, AVIXA, and more.
  • Sports market activity, as the sports landscape is changing rapidly: on the stadium/arena front (with sports venues now retail centers and interactive labs), for streaming, for Broadcast, and with the new kid on the block: eSports
  • Retail issues, including shopper engagement in-store, and Brand and Retail store challenges – issues that have moved to critical stage as Retail tries to reinvent itself
  • Experiential tech beyond Retail– for civic events, education, corporate events, concerts, and more
  • Education issues around both new tech tools and new pedagogies that are changing the way teachers teach and students learn.

Which leads to back to Austin March 2025. And if Austin is too far a hike, SXSW has just announced a new show/conference in London.

Here is the May 8 press release on the London event that will take place June 2025:


Today we announced that we’re expanding to Europe with a smashing new event in London, launching June 2025.

This expansion began with SXSW Sydney starting in 2023, providing new possibilities for an international take on the Austin experience. Both events, each with their own distinct flavor, will make South By an indispensable three-stop tour for the global creative community.

  • SXSW London will build on a legacy that has been created over almost four decades, where creatives converge every March to discuss and debate some of the most challenging issues of our time, with innovation in technology and science presented alongside the world’s biggest music and entertainment stories.
  • SXSW London will bring its own personality, driven by the city’s internationally renowned cultural life and creativity and its proximity to other major creative and tech centers in Europe.
  • Over the course of a week in June, SXSW London will take over dozens of venues, galleries, clubs and other spaces in Shoreditch, renowned as a vibrant center for creativity and technological innovation, as well as for its diversity, energy, global cuisine, and nightlife.
  • In addition to inspiring and thought-provoking keynotes, music showcases, and a look at what’s new in tech, gaming and screen, SXSW London will introduce boundary pushing visual arts, design and fashion programming, with exhibitions and interactive and immersive experiences in public spaces across its East London campus.
  • The event will continue to develop Austin’s focus on climate change and sustainability, with the ambition to drive positive change for future generations.
  • More details about the SXSW London 2025 program will be announced in the coming months, with badges due to go on SXSW London 2025 at
Share this...
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Market Trends – Gensler Spotlight

Get Our Newsletter

Sign up at the right to get industry analysis, curated data, and information (you can actually use) from the digiDaybook Newsletter.