WDCEP Prepares to Promote #DCTECH at SXSW
The WDCEP and the District Government have partnered with the DC tech community to collectively promote the District’s growing technology economy at SXSW Interactive Conference March 8th-11th in Austin, Texas. The delegation is working collaboratively to implement a marketing campaign to attract national media exposure about the solid growth in this sector and achievements of local firms. The WDCEP and the District Government aim to use the conference as a platform to promote local technology companies, market new business and investment opportunities, and attract technology talent to DC. SXSW is the premier trade show for creative industries and innovation that annually attracts over 60,000 attendees from over 72 countries.
The WDCEP is leading the delegation that includes local technology business leaders, representatives of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Mayor Vincent Gray. “SXSW offers an extraordinary podium that will help provide the District access to the world’s leading creative audiences so we can attract much needed talent and investment to DC’s existing tech companies,” said Keith Sellars, President/CEO of WDCEP. “The Delegation has a packed schedule over three days that includes meetings and networking events with creative industry leaders, financiers and entrepreneurs.”
The tech industry in DC has experienced rapid growth in recent years largely driven by city’s ability to attract creative talent, its appeal as an entrepreneurial environment and the availability of venture capital. Technology and innovation are important business sectors for the District of Columbia, which is rapidly evolving into a global economy. “Companies in this sector are aggressively hiring, but cannot find enough qualified people to join their teams,” said Peter Corbett, CEO of IStrategyLabs. “SXSW is part of a grass roots strategy that is intended to raise the visibility of DC within the tech industry and support creative innovators.”
The District of Columbia is poised to become a major center of innovation, and we have committed considerable resources to create an environment to support pioneering, growth-oriented companies,” said Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “We are becoming a hub of technology activity on the East Coast, and our agenda at SXSW will help us attract talent and facilitate relationships between existing DC tech companies, large corporations and other technology users,” said Deputy Mayor Hoskins.
According to Sellars, the DC Delegation has partnered with local technology firms and organizations to ensure their attendance at this interactive event achieves the maximum impact. “Our public private approach to this event follows the collaborative protocol that has been successful in retail attraction and resulted in the District’s position as one of the top retail markets in the nation, said Keith Sellars, President/CEO, The Washington DC Economic Partnership. Organizations that collaborated on this initiative include IStrategyLabs, Tech Cocktail, Speakerbox Communications, 1776, CHIEF, InTheCapital, and Foster.ly.
The comprehensive marketing strategy includes media interviews with key industry writers for Mayor Gray and DC Tech reps, a social media component that includes the hashtag #dctech which will be used to promote companies and opportunities, and a DC Tech Meetup organized and sponsored by the local tech community. “This event will be used to celebrate the DC Technology community as well as a promotion to invite outside talent, investors, and large corporation representatives to find out why DC is the place they should be.” said Sellars.