SXSW 2023 Recap

Perhaps no Austin event is more hotly anticipated than the annual SXSW Conference and Festivals, held for 10 days in March. The world-renowned SXSW draws an international audience to events held at the Austin Convention Center and in various venues around town.

Attendees can join in sessions led by tech thought leaders, watch movie screenings and world premieres with noted filmmakers, see performances by up-and-coming musicians, explore cutting-edge technology in the SXSW Creative Industries Exhibition, and even catch a weeklong comedy festival.

Woman using VR headset and controllers in a conference exhibit booth.SXSW 2023. Credit Paul Costen, Courtesy SXSW.


The very nature of SXSW is collaborative and experiential, so there were plenty of networking opportunities and sponsor activations. Highlights and immersive experiences included Peacock promoting its Mrs. Davis series premiere, offering giveaways to those who found playful “nuns” in blue habits at various spots throughout Austin. To showcase multicultural and Latin initiatives, HBO Max brought its Coffeehouse, which served coffee and cocktails, plus hosted other SXSW events.

TikTok offered several ways to get involved, including a kickoff party with platform stars, a takeover of Inn Cahoots and programming sessions. Billboard hosted concerts for three nights at the Moody Amphitheater and partnered with Doritos to open Billboard House on Congress Avenue — among the acts were DJ Pee.Wee, Deadmau5 and Kaskade. Roku and Best Buy brough RockCity to the conference, immersing visitors in a purple-themed experience that included movie scenes and photo ops.

Three women sitting on a stage in a panel discussion, in front of a colorful SXSW 2023 backdrop.SXSW 2023. Courtesy SXSW.


SXSW is known for presenting a dazzling array of conference tracks that focus on the most important breakthroughs in technology, film, culture, media and music. The belief is that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. Among well over 100 inspiring keynote and featured speakers were U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Chef José Andrés, actor and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Reddit CEO Jen Wong, #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke, and comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler.

Although SXSW is known for covering the trendiest of topics in its sessions, there is a conscious effort to balance the wow factor with practical information that attendees can actually use both on the job and in their daily lives.

SXSW 2024

On the heels of its wildly successful 2023 event, planning is already underway for the 2024 SXSW Conference & Festivals, to be held March 8-16. Don’t miss it! In the meantime, watch 2023 highlights on demand.