Digital Mission to SXSWi '10 - FAQ's

Digital MissionDigital Mission is organised by Chinwag for UK Trade & Investment, enabling digital companies to expand into overseas markets and attract investment outside the UK.

When is the Digital Mission to SXSWi?

The Digital Mission runs from Thursday, 11th March to Wednesday, 17th March, 2009. The SXSWi festival runs from Friday, March 12th through to Tuesday, 16th March 2009.

What do I need to do to confirm my slot on the mission?

To confirm your slot on the mission, you'll need to:

  • Complete payment of £550 plus VAT (£632.50 with VAT @ 15%) contribution towards costs - you can pay using any major credit or debit card (except AMEX), please contact us for details.
  • Send across your company asset form so we can make sure your details are listed on the Digital Mission website and printed materials.

If you're not able to come along, we'd be grateful if you could let us know as soon as you can, so that we can contact the companies on the waiting list. Naturally, they’ll be keen to find out ASAP so your speedy response will be most welcomed.

The cut-off time to confirm your slot on the Digital Mission is Tuesday, 22nd December at midday after which we'll offer the slot to one of the  companies on the waiting list.

Please note - VAT increases on January 1st 2010 

What does the contribution towards costs cover?

The contribution towards costs is £550 plus VAT, which includes:

  • Full SXSW Interactive Pass at a discounted rate
  • Inclusion in Digital Mission advert in SXSWi official programme
  • Presence on the Digital Mission exhibition stand at the SXSWi Expo floor
  • Masterclass: "Nuts & Bolts" of doing digital business in the US
  • Great British Breakfast networking event
  • Extensive marketing & PR pre and post event
  • UK Trade & Investment Services
  • ...and lots more yet to confirmed!

How many people from my company can I take on the Digital Mission?

There is space for one person per company only on the Digital Mission and this person gets access to all of the above. 

If you would like colleagues to come along to SXSWi there's no problem at all. Please bear in mind that there will be certain Digital Mission activities which only the company delegate will be able to be involved in.

To get additional passes for SXSWi, please get in touch with us.

How much will my flight and accommodation come to?

A wide variety of accommodation is available in Austin to suit all budgets. We expect the majority of Digital Mission companies to stay at one of three hotels in down-town Austin located close to the conference centre, but there’s no requirement to stay at these.

After completing the payment towards the costs, a registration code for SXSWi will be forwarded to you. The registration process also includes heavily discounted booking at these hotels through the official SXSWi accommodation office, who will be able to help you find somewhere suitable to stay.

Here are a list of hotels in Austin: 

Hotel rooms in Austin tend to be on the large side and can include two double-beds. If you’re looking to trim accommodation costs sharing with colleagues or other mission companies may be an option.

Digital Mission travel partner, Expose Travel have put a very competitive package together so it's a good idea to check out their website.

For more info please contact paulatexposetravel [dot] com (Paul Vasdev) at Expose Travel.

Travel bookings don’t have to be made through Expose Travel or the SXSWi accommodation office, but their insider knowledge may prove useful and save you money.

One thing to bear in mind, is that the hotels nearer the conference centre tend to be pricier but the majority of attendee's that stayed further away on the 2009 mission, agreed that they ended up spending a large chunk of cash on taxi's. Worth doing the sums! Contact us if you need further info.

What activities are being planned?

This Digital Mission centres around the Masterclass, marketing materials and networking events, a dedicated panel session at the conference and exposure on the expo stand. The specifics are outlined in the contribution to costs section (see above).

There are also a number of other activities that are still in the planning stage including The Great British Breakfast networking event, Brit Bash! evening event and a collaborative networking session between music and interactive companies.

A list of the activities will be posted to the Digital Mission website as soon as more details are available. This will be frequently updated to keep all mission companies up-to-date on what’s happening.

Why should I come on the Digital Mission rather than going to SXSWi on my own?

The benefits for coming along to SXSWi as part of the Digital Mission are many and varied. In a nutshell:

  • Power in numbers, 35 British companies together, with branding, constant press and lots to offer will inevitably make more of an impact than one company alone
  • Full interactive pass at a heavily reduced rate
  • Targeted PR campaign before during and after the event
  • Presence in the advert for the SXSW interactive directory
  • Access and prominance on the UK Digital expo stand (stands are expensive to hire individually!)
  • Master class on how to do business in the US
  • Prominence at the Great British Breakfast networking event
  • Targeted networking events a plenty through the festival

In short, you could pay for a flight, accommodation and pass and would probably come out about £200 richer than if you came on the Digital Mission but this would not give you access to the activities and campaigns above. The Masterclass alone would cost near £500 to attend in the UK.

What do I need to prepare for the Expo stand?

Full body wax. Only kidding!

The plans for the stand are being finalised with the production company in Austin. The stand is likely to be used as a meeting point for Digital Mission companies and also to host speed-networking events during the conference.

The stand will incorporate branding for all the Digital Mission companies as well as providing space for brochures, leaflets etc. Our plans include the provision of lots of power sockets and internet connectivity to help make the stand a hub of activity throughout the day.

Who else is going on the Digital Mission?

We’re in the process of confirming all the companies and the full list will be announced in the new year via a press release, various blog posts, social networks etc. The companies will be listed on the official website:

For an idea of how it'll look please see a similar page for the companies that attended the Digital Mission to LA & San Francisco in October 2009:

The promotional band wagon runs on a diet of company logo's, bios, Twitter feeds and confirmation towards costs - without these, it can't start it's magical work ;-)

Who is behind the Digital Mission?

Digital Mission is organised by Chinwag for the UK trade & Investment and is kindly sponsored by international law firm Winston & Strawn.

I have other questions, who should I speak to?

If you have any other questions please contact Emily Fisher or Juliet Nwekenta on +44 (0)20 7183 2923 or missionatchinwag [dot] com (drop us an email).

Do you have any Digital Mission bling for my blog?

Indeed there is, check out the Digital Mission press and blog page for links to pictures, and the Union Jack logo:

This page will be updated with new press releases and there's also a handy one paragraph blurb about the Digital Mission suitable for copying/pasting.

If there's anything else you'd like to see,missionatchinwag [dot] com ( do get in touch).

How can I help?

Getting the most out of a Digital Mission is in the hands of the people who come along. If you have contacts at companies in the US who are coming to SXSW interactive or if you know US press or tech bloggers who would be interested, we'd love to know. If you can make an introduction, even better.

SXSWi is a big conference with many activities that happen outside of the formal conference session. Many eyes are better than one pair, so if you spot things we should know about, please let us know about them.

Any links to the Digital Mission website, especially the page that lists all the companies would be great, like-wise if you are launching a new product at SXSWi or have special plans that you'd like included on the Digital Mission blog, we're all ears/eyes/etc.

Who will I get to meet at SXSWi?

Lots of people, lots of companies. Last year 11,000 delegates packed out the conference in Austin. SXSW interactive has become a mecca for the leading lights of the US digital scene with an ever-increasing number of Brits making the trip, too.

The conference program and the directory of attendees is still being put together by SXSWi, but check out the official websites to get a fuller flavour of the conference.

Oh, and it's Texas so the BBQ food is awesome.

Digital Mission Sponsors

Digital Missions are made possible through the generous support of UK Trade & Investment and our sponsors, Winston & Strawn.

UK Trade & InvestmentWinston & Strawn logo