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SXSW in Las Vegas, Mexico: shift away from Austin?

SXSW is launching a new event in Las Vegas and visits Mexico this year, but are they really shifting away from Austin?

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SXSW expanding into other cities or moving?

Every year, Austinites stir up rumors that SXSW is leaving the fair city, and translate expansion efforts as a shift away from the Hill Country, but all efforts point back to Austin.

Earlier this year, SXSW visited Mexico City, and some people made the assumption that the organization was launching a sister event there, but that is not the case, as it was simply a networking and mentoring event with around 100 people wherein panelists from Mexico shared their SXSW experiences alongside SXSW representatives who hosted a workshop on how to get the most out of participating in SXSW.

Mexico will be represented at the SXSW Trade Show as “Bonus Mexico.” Think of it as the friendly consulate for Mexican visitors to Austin, and think of the visit to Mexico as a recruiting effort for conference attendees and speakers, put in crude terms.

But what about SXSW V2V?

SXSW V2V in Las Vegas this August is being dubbed an “extension and re-imagining SXSW’s 26-year-old Austin event with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation,” like a bonus event to the larger conference in Austin.

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SXSW said, “The startup and venture capital space is of major interest to all the creative industries that are at the core of the SXSW family of events. Featuring four days of informative panels and workshops, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, networking events and receptions, pitch competitions and startup showcases, SXSW V2V offers innovators and entrepreneurs across all creative industries a space to learn the skills, make the connections and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level.”

SXSW Interactive Festival Director explains

SXSW Interactive Festival Director, Hugh Forrest explains the conference’s growth to AGBeat, “The SXSW Interactive Festival has been fortunate to experience a lot of growth over the last few years. And, a good portion of that growth is due to a large increase in international participation at the event.”

“How has this increase in international participation been facilitated?” Forrest continued. “On the one hand, we’ve tried to incorporate more international-related panel programming at the event. We’ve also worked hard to get more international participation in the Trade Show and in other SXSW marketing platforms. But, ultimately, the jump in international attendees and international companies at SXSW Interactive is because these folks are beginning to understand the benefits of the event.”

Forrest added, “In other words, being in Austin in March is a great way for these attendees and companies to make great new connections that lead to new creativity, new ideas, new friendships, new partnerships and new business opportunities.”

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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