SXSW Tour: Justen Duggan and Josh Raskin Gottlieb’s key takeaways


“I had an amazing and somewhat overwhelming experience at SXSW”

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 Strat‘s Justen Duggan, Group Media Director and Josh Raskin Gottlieb, partner and Media & Operations Director.

See Also: Special guest movie review: Tetris

What were your thoughts on SXSW?

Duggan: I had an amazing and somewhat overwhelming experience at SXSW. Being my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect despite having spoken to a number of people who have been before. The sheer size and diversity of SXSW was both surprising and great. In the space of a couple of hours you could see a key note speaker, check out a brand activation and then head of to either have dinner or see a live band.

SXSW caters for anyone who is interested in learning.

Raskin Gottlieb: A rewarding & enjoyable experience! Figuring out how to navigate it all feels overwhelming at first. But you quickly embrace it, come to terms with not being able to see & do everything, and work out a system that gets you involved in as much as possible.

What were some of your highlights?

Duggan: The array of speakers was definitely a highlight. I was lucky enough to see Ryan Gellett (Patagonia CEO), Chris Hyams (Indeed CEO) and New Order speak, along with a number of other panelists.

The sheer size and detail of all the brand activations was also a highlight – from Audible to Paramount to Amazon Prime, the money spent

Heading to the rodeo and seeing FloRida perform was pretty cool as well.

Raskin Gottlieb: In no particular order… Cheech Marin, New Order, RZA and a few different sessions on current (and potential) practical uses for AI in different industries.


Mediaweek’s SXSW tour group

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

Duggan: You come to SXSW to be inspired and to see how other people do things, and how you can do things differently.

From that point of view I certainly got what I wanted out of it, however it was good to go out of my field of expertise and learn new things… often would you go to a talk to listen if the music of Detroit can bring the city back to its former self.

Raskin Gottlieb: To experience and see something unique. To learn and be entertained personally and professionally. I did get what I wanted out of it, and definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks they can make it happen.

What has been the biggest surprise?

Duggan: The friendliness of everyone at the event was a surprise. You are often waiting in lines to get into talks, parties etc and everyone is willing to speak and share things they had seen.

Managing not to get lost walking through the Convention Centre to other locations was a big surprise for someone that has no sense of direction.

Raskin Gottlieb: The scale and amazing range of what is on offer. No matter what you do for work or are interested in personally, there is something going on all day every day to keep you entertained.

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

Would you do anything different, given the chance?

Duggan: I would definitely hit up Gus’s World Famous Fried chicken earlier than the second last day.

Raskin Gottlieb: No.

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

Duggan: After celebrating a night out at Pete’s Duelling Piano Bar seeing the whole group we travelled with trying to navigate electric scooters on the way home was interesting.

Raskin Gottlieb: Flo Rida performing at Rodeo Austin.

Top Image: Justen Duggan, Josh Raskin Gottlieb

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