city of San Antonio

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File #: 19-1909   
Type: Staff Briefing - Without Ordinance
In control: Economic and Workforce Development Committee
On agenda: 2/12/2019
Posting Language: Briefing on City Initiatives for 2019 SXSW [Carlos J. Contreras III, Assistant City Manager; Rene Dominguez, Director, Economic Development]
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DEPARTMENT: Economic Development



SUBJECT: EWDC Briefing on City Initiatives for SXSW 2019

Since 2016, the Economic Development Department (EDD) has partnered with various economic development, government, and nonprofit organizations to present San Antonio-themed programming at SXSW in Austin. In 2019, EDD is supporting a Tech Bloc-led presence through its Chief Talent Recruitment Officer (CTRO) at the SXSW Job Market to attract skilled workers for hard-to-fill technology positions. Additionally, EDD will be developing a full day of programming for international startups that will visit San Antonio before attending SXSW aimed at showcasing San Antonio as a soft landing spot.

The annual SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive Festival in Austin, TX attracts an audience with an interest in innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, arts, and culture. With 75,000 registered trade show visitors in 2018, the festival is a prime opportunity to showcase the many ways in which San Antonio is thriving.

From 2016-2018, the City supported different community organizations to facilitate a meaningful San Antonio-themed presence at SXSW with varying outcomes. Therefore, in preparation for SXSW 2018, EDD facilitated stakeholder meetings with representation from Tech Bloc, SAEDF, Visit SA, Bexar County, Geekdom, SA Chamber, and the Office of Innovation to gather feedback on past and future SXSW activations. The committee determined that a phased-in approach to a San Antonio presence at SXSW would be most effective.

In 2018, based on community feedback, the San Antonio initiative consisted of a booth at the SXSW Job Market, organized by Tech Bloc and supported by the City with $19,113. During the 3-day job fair, Tech Bloc used numerous San Antonio ambassadors to meet with job seekers and convey San Antonio's unique culture, growing and dynamic economy and great quality of life. In addition, Te...

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