SXSW Tour: Georgie Nichols’ key takeaways


“I came to be inspired and it delivered in spades!”

South by South West in Austin Texas is one of the biggest events on the global media calendar, and there is even more interest down under in Australia this year due to the upcoming SXSW Sydney. 

Due to this, the Mediaweek SXSW tour took several media executives from across the country to the week long event and has now caught up with several members of the tour on what their key takeaways were.

Today it is Georgie Nichols, NSW Sales Director, from Seven West Media.

What were some of your highlights?

So hard to narrow the highlights down…

Amy Webb was incredible!  One of the most inspiring Futurists I have seen and a brilliant storyteller who had me and a couple of thousand other early birds queuing up to see her for almost 2 hours on Day two. She was worth the wait! 

See Also: From AI to Deep Fakes: Amy Webb talks to Mediaweek about tech changes for media industry


ChatGPT and the rise of Generative AI was a major focus in Amy’s session and across the festival and I really enjoyed the diversity of thought  – as Ian Beacraft (CEO and Chief Futurist Signal and Cipher) said – AI is literally blowing everyone’s minds with Chat GPT the fastest adopted app in history (100m users in 2 months).  From fatalists who believe AI will create a massive digital and economic divide and take all of our jobs to those like Kevin Kelly (Executive Editor of Wired) and of course Chat GPT co-founder Greg Brockman, who see us entering a new phase of creativity and productivity where AI becomes our virtual assisted interns.

Inspiration also came from the stories of some incredible leaders driving global change – from Kickstart CEO Everette Taylor and his journey from homelessness to Kickstarter CEO where he is focused on driving diversity on the platform with a $500k fund to help creators from minority backgrounds. To Cheech Marin (who was also on my flight back to LA so a massive fan girling moment) Actor, Comedian and Activist turned Art Collector who is driving global awareness of Chicano Culture and recently opened the Cheech Marin Centre for Chicano Art and Culture in California.


I was also inspired by so many amazing Women Leaders like Hitha Palepu (CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals) who in her spare time is a kickass author and content creator who curates a daily newsletter (#5smartreads) –– Hitha, when do you sleep?

As a mother of 2 teenage girls who are passionate about their sport and the potential to play at elite levels  – I also loved the session on the Brands behind the rise of Women in Sport and the work marketers like Andrea Brimmer of Ally Financial is doing with ESPN / Disney to drive gender parity in revenue and audience in women’s sport in the US with initiatives like “Watch the Game, Change the Game.

Why did you come to SXSW 2023? Did you get what you wanted out of the experience?

I came to be inspired and it delivered in spades! The calibre of content the South By Austin team curated was incredible – the hardest part was choosing what to go to when there were so many amazing speakers to see at the same time.


What has been the biggest surprise?

How many amazing people you meet. I met clients, agency people, publishers, academics and content curators from all over the world – and many of them while queuing for sessions! Everyone is there to learn, to grow, and to be inspired and there was an amazing spirit of community and creativity. I have never experienced anything like it on the scale of SXSW.    

I was also surprised at the scale of the brand activations. Brands like Amazon Prime, Porsche, Audible and Dolby did a phenomenal job of curating their content for a consumer and business audience and showcasing their future focus. Vinyl, semi permanent tattoos and photo opps washed down with spicy margaritas and tacos was a winning combination in their activation zones to keep queue-weary SX attendees engaged.

Would you do anything different, given the chance?

Accept the FOMO – you can’t physically see everything you want to see so good to divide and conquer with others in your tour group AND make sure I was more organised just before 9 to make the most of the Fast Passes, particularly over the first weekend when the lines are insane!

Mediaweek’s touring party checks in on Day 1 of SXSW

What’s the funniest or most quirky thing you’ve seen?

Seven Australians all out of phone batteries riding through the streets at 2am on electric scooters with little to no idea where their hotel was, and Sparrow trying to navigate the motley crew home without his glasses. Sparrow’s tips on tour ‘do as I say, not as I do!’

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