How SXSW comes to Sydney with Colin Daniels

How SXSW comes to Sydney with Colin Daniels
Colin Daniels, the managing director of SXSW Sydney, reveals the inner workings of how they brought the iconic Texas Austin conference all the way to Sydney

Fresh out of the studio, we had the pleasure of hosting Colin Daniels, the managing director of SXSW Sydney, who enthusiastically shed light on how the famous SXSW conference plans to make its debut in the Asia Pacific via Sydney. Unfolding the layers of planning and coordination involved, Colin gave us a sneak peek of what participants can look forward to - from film and music to arts, culture, technology, and innovation. Last but not least, Colin described what success would look like for the first-ever SXSW Sydney happening in October 2023.

"We might not have old rundown houses or shacks that are converted into brand activations, but we have boats and we have parks, and we have so many different opportunities for organizations and brands to profile themselves during South By, in interesting different ways. When you're putting together an event like South by Southwest, I go back to what I said before about understanding what it means to different people, what industry they're from, what does success look like for them and what are their goals for the event? Right from the beginning how I've approached this and how our team has approached this and TEG, who is producing the event in Australia; We are building the stage. It's up to our creative communities to perform we're providing the platform. We're bringing everyone to Sydney. You are only limited by your imagination of what you can do or achieve." - Colin Daniels


  • Colin Daniels, Managing Director, SXSW Sydney (LinkedIn)
  • For every first-time guest, we want to know your origin and I will start with our first question: How did you start your career?
  • What interesting lessons can you share with my audience about your career journey?

Behind the Scenes in bringing SXSW to Sydney

  • Could you share with us the origin story of how the idea of bringing the SXSW conference to Sydney first took shape?
  • What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
  • With the SXSW conference's roots in Austin, Texas, what unique adaptations have been made for its version in Sydney to make it relevant for the Asia Pacific region?
  • How has the cultural context from the Asia Pacific influenced the themes and focus areas of SXSW Sydney?
  • With such a diverse audience from across the Asia Pacific, how do you ensure that the conference content is relevant and engaging for everyone?
  • Could you walk us through the process of putting together a great conference like SXSW? What considerations do you prioritize?
  • For those unfamiliar, what makes the SXSW experience distinct from other creative and tech conferences?
  • Sydney is known for its vibrant creative and tech community. How do you think hosting SXSW in Sydney for the next decade will impact the city and its community?
  • Moving onto this year's event, could you share some of the highlights of the program for the upcoming SXSW Sydney?
  • What is the balance between international and local speakers and performers in your program and why is that important?
  • what would be your advice to attendees to make the most of their SXSW Sydney experience?
  • What is the one thing you know about building a great conference event that very few event organizers know about?
  • Given the scale and influence of SXSW, how do you ensure that the conference remains inclusive and accessible for all who want to participate?
  • How do you see SXSW Sydney evolving in the future and how will it continue to stay relevant in an increasingly digital and global world?
  • Finally,  what does great look like to you for a successful SXSW conference in Sydney?


Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G.Thomas Craig (@gthomascraig, LinkedIn).