SXSW Heads Down Under: Last week we learned that SXSW has decided to expand! In 2023, they will not only host their flagship Austin-based festival in March, but this “famed celebration of the tech, film, and music industries” will also be held in Sydney, Australia from 15-22 October! According to the conference announcement, SXSW Sydney, a collaboration with TEG, The NSW Government & Destination NSW, “will be the official annual Asia Pacific installment of SXSW.” Like SXSW in Austin, “SXSW Sydney will be a must-attend event for creators and professionals seeking to shape and discover future trends, emerging technology, and access unrivaled networking opportunities.”

Their Reign in Spain Stays Mainly in…: MWC (formerly Mobile World Congress), the world’s largest annual mobile tech event, will continue to be held in Barcelona until at least 2030. The show has been held there annually since 2006. Conference organizers, the GSMA, made the announcement with its host city partners: Barcelona City Council, Generalitat de Catalunya, The Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, event venue Fira de Barcelona and Tourism de Barcelona.

Fiercely Smart: Formerly known as Fierce Wireless, this conference-producing outfit has in recent years expanded beyond telco and rebranded under the more befitting Fierce Digital to promote its line-up of virtual and in-person summits. New for 2022 are virtual programs focused on Smart Buildings (22-23 August) and Optical (12-13 October). And previously held as tracks, the online Sustainability Tech Summit (7-8 December) and MedTech Innovation Summit (1 November) will now be featured with standalone agendas. Fierce Digital expects to announce their 2023 event calendar in early fall.

Speaking Opportunity: Self-described as “the nation’s largest and most comprehensive event for chip, board, and systems design engineers,” DesignCon will return to the Santa Clara Convention Center from 31 January – 2 February 2023. The conference embraces education and peer-to-peer sharing among practicing engineers, “creating a unique atmosphere for learning about state-of-the-art design methodologies and technologies.” The Call for Technical Papers, Panels, Tutorials and Boot Camps has just opened with a deadline of 27 July. Submissions may be made via the call for abstracts page here, which also contains helpful information on the review criteria.  Note that when you are submitting your session, you will need to specify one of the 14 technical tracks as your primary focus. The 2023 tracks, including topic suggestions, can be found in the Conference Tracks section of the Conference Overview page.

Conference Organizer Q&A: Speaking of the Fierce Digital event line up, we spoke this week with Alejandro Piñero, who is Senior Director of Telecom Conference Programming, about its programming philosophy over the next twelve months.

Speaker Strategies: Many conference organizations seem to be moving away from virtual events as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Why has Fierce Digital decided to continue hosting most of its events online?

When done right, virtual events are a great product. Attendees don’t have to travel, speakers & sponsors get to reach a larger audience, and organizers are able to produce the event for a fraction of the cost. We keep things simple. Specifically, we focus on what virtual events can do really well – like content – and we stay away from elements like networking and booths that haven’t transitioned as well to virtual. This not only keeps our team more focused, but it also leaves attendees and sponsors alike walking away with a more positive experience.  

Speaker Strategies: How do you decide which new events to add to your lineup each year?

Every September, the team gets together to review all our events and the portfolio strategy. We take in feedback from speakers, attendees, and sponsors, as well as check in with our editorial team who are always well-informed. We then create the event calendar for the year. The great advantage of having a primarily virtual event schedule is that we can be flexible and adapt to needs and new topics and as when they come to our attention.

Coming Up Next Week: From 11-13 July, Fortune Brainstorm Tech returns to Aspen for its by-invite-only summer retreat for leaders from FORTUNE 500 companies, entrepreneurs, and “the most important investors who finance them.” SEMICON West – which runs 12-14 July – is offering options to attend in-person in San Francisco as well as online, for its attendees representing the extended electronics supply chain. Games For Change (G4C) is another event offering a hybrid format, with two days of curated talks, panels, and arcades in New York from 13-14 July, followed by a free, streamed online program 15-16 July. G4C is designed for developers, educators, researchers, and students working in video games or immersive media. The theme of this year’s CNBC Evolve Global Summit (13 July; online) will be “Lessons in Agile Leadership: Reimagining Outcomes,” with sessions on digital upskilling, cybersecurity, and social justice in banking. Finally, the MIT Platform Strategy Summit gets underway 14 July at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, to explore the economics and management of platform-centered markets and discuss their implications for managers, industry and governmental policy.