Blog Tape

by | Jun 10, 2024 | Communication

HOW SXSW coming to the UK helps us all…

You can’t have missed the fact that America’s iconic SXSW festival is coming to London next year; I am really excited by this announcement and I am not alone. Since its announcement a few weeks ago, I have spoken to around 40 agency owners and senior stakeholders and everyone is buzzing about the opportunities that SXSW brings to our industry. Brands will come out in droves, and many global brands will be turning to UK agencies who are on the ground and ready to create activations and experiences for them. This event will really shine a spotlight on us as global leaders in the world of brand experience, communications, and integrated marketing.

But beyond the immediate economic benefits, think about the long-term impact on the next generation of event professionals. This is a chance to showcase our industry as a legitimate and exciting career path. For those in college and university right now, SXSW in London is a beacon, illuminating a career path that is stable, dynamic, and full of opportunities.

Many of the creatives working in peripheral industries may now see events as THE sector to work in and start to consider their next career move.

It’s the first time SXSW is making its way to Europe, and to me, this cements the fact that we are a global leader in the brand experience economy. Of all the amazing European destinations they could have chosen, they chose London. To host SXSW, a destination has to be a global player with the appetite and overall ‘scene’ that will appreciate this event, coupled with the talent and infrastructure needed to create and host such a globally iconic event. The economic impact of SXSW coming to London is massive when you include in the impact it will have on the venues, flights, bars, restaurants, even taxi drivers—everyone will benefit from this event. It’s a boon for the local economy and a chance to showcase the vibrancy and resilience of our industry.

SXSW itself has said that the event is an opportunity for learning, employment, and community uplift. While they might mean the community of Shoreditch specifically, we can also talk about the broader events community. It’s a chance for our industry to come together, to learn from each other, and to grow stronger.

While it would have been great to see SXSW held in Birmingham or Manchester—cities that could greatly benefit from such an event—there’s no denying the excitement and opportunity that comes with it being hosted in Shoreditch. It’s a vibrant area that embodies the creative and innovative spirit of our industry.

SXSW coming to London is a landmark event for the UK events industry. It puts us on the global map, highlights the incredible talent we have here, and showcases the industry as a viable and exciting career choice for young people. It’s a big shot in the arm for us—a positive, feel-good story in an industry that often grapples with negativity. I’m looking forward to seeing my clients and candidates there and experiencing all the exciting brand activations that are created by #TalentGBLtd – a global force to be reckoned with.



About the author.

I’m Robert Kenward, Chief Talent Officer and creator of FitabilityⓇ.

I’ve been working in the recruitment, Live Events, Brand Experience, and Experiential Marketing space for over two decades. I’ve been a candidate, a client, and a recruiter.

This makes me well acquainted with the challenges you face and enables me to cover the entire talent spectrum above £60k.

I care deeply about my work and I’m generous with my time.

Hit me up if you’d like a new perspective on solving classic hiring problems.

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