SALT LAKE CITY — The annual tech conference is in full swing.
A day before the event started, several dozen of us gathered at the conference center and sat down for a few hours of listening and discussing.
I’d just joined the company that hosts the conference, and the day before I had come to work and heard that there was a new conference on.
It was the first time I’d attended a conference that didn’t focus on the industry as a whole.
It reminded me of the time before the Internet, when conferences were dominated by the content they were presenting.
“We had a conference last year, and people said, ‘You’re going to be at SXSC,’ ” said SALT CEO Jon Wurster.
“Well, that’s just not the case anymore.”
The company that holds SXSW is not the same company that organizes other conferences, like TechCrunch Disrupt, or has a presence on the convention floor.
It’s an entirely new entity that has grown from an idea to an operation.
The company has become a part of a new paradigm, one where content is increasingly important to the conference and not just to speakers.
SXSW has become an opportunity for companies to showcase their ideas, for new brands to emerge, and for the most powerful people in tech to share their visions and expertise.
The idea that the conference is just a place for people to network and have a good time has been replaced by a different idea: it’s a way for companies and other organizations to get ahead of their competition and attract the best talent.
It also means that the world of conferences and marketing is changing.
The most recent edition of SXSW attracted more than a million people, up more than two million from last year.
SXSC is now a platform for conferences to showcase and expand their brand, to get new ideas on their product and to get the most valuable talent in the world in front of an audience of millions.
At its most basic level, SXSW’s success hinges on the success of the company itself.
SXSXC’s founder, Jon Wurtz, is a former marketing executive for Facebook.
He founded the company in 2015, with the idea of bringing together companies like Facebook and Google, but quickly found himself in the middle of a culture clash.
“At the start of the year, we were really kind of in a mess,” he said.
I started to feel like I could be more effective if I had the right people around me.” “
But we had a lot of great people there, and they really started to grow.
I started to feel like I could be more effective if I had the right people around me.”
Wurtman says he and other investors were trying to find ways to find talent.
“I remember being in a meeting with a few investors and they were like, ‘We don’t think we should be doing this, we’re going with our CEO.
We can’t do this,'” he recalled.
“So we found this guy named Ryan, and he said, “You know, we want to find people who are good at what we do.
“He quickly found people who were really into SXSW, and were willing to invest in the company.
Wurtland and his partner, John T. Smith, built a reputation as a startup guru in Silicon Valley.
In 2017, the company hired a former executive at Twitter and started hiring people for marketing and product roles.
By 2020, they had a staff of more than 20 people.
But Wurtster and his team were still struggling to attract talent, especially for events like SXSW.
The events are expensive, and there are a lot more people who want to be part of the show than there are jobs.
“The companies don’t necessarily want to invest the time and resources to bring in the people who will really help the brand, and that’s why they’re turning to the companies that have really been successful in the past.” “
There’s a huge amount of talent out there, but it’s hard to get it to do what we want,” said T. J. Pritchard, a longtime industry insider who served as a marketing consultant for Google.
“The companies don’t necessarily want to invest the time and resources to bring in the people who will really help the brand, and that’s why they’re turning to the companies that have really been successful in the past.”
A conference without speakers is no event SXSWS will ever be the same.
There will be speakers who will talk about the tech they’re passionate about.
There’ll be a few that will talk in their personal lives about their personal journeys.
And there’ll be people who’ll talk about their company’s products and services, or talk about a specific aspect of their industry.
And people will be there to learn from each other and help each other grow.
That’s the philosophy that led to SXSW becoming what it is today, Wurtist said.
It can be challenging to attract the talent you