A note from the Next festival in Hamburg

They pop up here and there, the marketing meets tech meets society conferences.

I have been to a few and still no one has come close to the SXSW in Austin.

However, for Europeans it’s a long way to Texas and really, the old SXSW seems to be imploding with a little bit of everything.

The position for being an interesting meet up for converging arenas is still up for grabs. Why not the Swedish SIME, although a bit of new energy surely is needed in that conference.

Next is a conference trying to capture a variety of aspects, tying it all together with always having something ”digital” in the middle. Hamburg is close enough to Stockholm so as a Strategic planner I’m an easy catch to this invitation only festival. Don’t be intimidated, ask to be invited.

So, a few takeaways from Hamburg;

  • Everyone is starting to act and look at themselves as activists. Even traditional brands claim to be worried about everything from climate to refugees to democracy. However nice it is, you can’t be a cynic in this business anymore.
  • Wherever marketing people will meet up, the ones drawing the most interest will be the ones working with things outside of our own universe. Keynotes from NASA or perhaps a physisist from CERN will always be more interesting than a SEO-clinic. My conclusion is that nowadays it is hard times in the marketing business with lots of things changing. When this world feels difficult you may as well travel to some other universe. The question is what you do with your new insights into multiverses and other galaxies?
  • Hosted in the famously dirty Reeperbahn area this festival follows a tradition of putting festivals in an interesting environment. The area certainly has its share of sexy clubs but the feeling is that Hamburg and the area of St Pauli more strike pose of being alternative than actually being alternative. The most dangerous thing is probably the fact that people smoke inside the bars.


Interested in more, or just curious of the festival itself? Reach out and you’ll find me at lars.andersson@psoccasion.se


Auf wienersnitzeln,

Lars Andersson