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SXSWi uncovered

SXSWi uncovered
The IPA's Consultant Head of Digital, Nigel Gwilliam, takes part in a Q&A about SXSWi and offers advice and information about the festival in Austin.

What is SXSW Interactive?

  • Every March, thousands of tech-lovers descend upon Austin, Texas for the SXSW Interactive Festival.
  • Some of the world’s foremost experts in emerging technologies and digital creativity share their knowledge at more than 500 talks and workshops during the five-day festival.
  • Once just for the geeks who shape our near future, it is now a Mecca for forward-looking advertising and marketing leaders too.

When does SXSWi take place?

  • In 2014, SXSW Interactive takes place from 7th - 11th March.
  • We recommend flying out through the day on March 6th.

Who is it for?

  • For UK agencies, it is probably most suited to creatives, planners, technologists and innovation-leads.

How does the IPA support UK agency folk?

  • We advise on the value of attending and the logistics of attending.
  • We provide an informal support network on the ground in Austin.
  • We host a website where those agency folk fortunate enough to attend can describe their experiences to the people back home.
  • Listen to more about the IPA's role in SXSWi here.

What is it like attending for the first time?

  • Our IPA SXSW website has a handy information page offering tips and advice to first-timers to the festival. Read it here.

How much does it cost?

  • Until 6th September, the price to attend is US$795 per person. After that the price starts rising.
  • Flights are currently around £700 for an economy return.
  • Other than that there’s just accommodation and general expenses.
  • A total cost estimate is £2,000-£2,500 per person.

Where should I stay?

  • All hotel rooms within 5 miles of the Convention Centre are now fully booked.
  • There are hotels left outside downtown but travel to/from these is not straightforward.
  • It is worth considering renting a downtown apartment/house via AirBnB.

For more information about SXSWi contact Nigel on If you are a member agency and are attending SXSWi 2014 also contact For non-member agencies attending, contact

Last updated 13/08/2013

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