Case Study | PR and Trade Show Support 


We coordinated a media event for Brazil at SXSW Interactive 2018 and helped them on the trade show floor. 


The Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Apex-Brasil) acts to promote Brazilian products and services abroad and attract foreign investment to strategic sectors of the Brazilian economy. Apex-Brasil organizes several initiatives aiming to promote Brazilian exports abroad.

Apex-Brasil organized a delegation of 77 companies to attend the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The delegation featured 15 companies that exhibited products at the SXSW Trade Show as well as a variety of Brazilian business and cultural leaders.

Our Challenge

Apex-Brasil, the trade and investment promotion agency for the country of Brazil, came to Swyft five weeks before the start of SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) 2018. The ask was to help Apex-Brasil finish designing a media lunch during SXSW with the intention of inviting influential local and national journalists in hopes of developing relationships that might yield future media coverage. Given the late start, Swyft had to compress the event planning, media research and message and collateral design into a three weeks window, leaving us with two weeks available for media outreach. The ultimate goal? Attract 12 or more journalists from a mix of local and national media in order to advance a message that Brazil’s economy was in recovery from a recent recession.

Our Answer

Going up against the clock and a hectic event schedule, we worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive media plan to attract journalists to the media lunch.


Swyft worked with the Apex-Brasil liaison to determine final location, date, and media materials to optimize our chances of attracting a mix of national and local media. We compiled supporting collateral onto a secure shared folder on Dropbox ready for convenient reviews and downloads.


Swyft advised Apex-Brasil on a thematic approach to its messaging at the media event. After emerging from a major economic downturn, Brazil was seeing a resurgence of investment in key industrial sectors like technology. We tied the main message to the Brazilian economic turnaround with a focus on the technology companies attending SXSW Interactive as part of Apex-Brasil’s delegation. We also built individual pitches around the top four technology startups attending the event, which involved a review of over 25 startups in order to pick the top candidates. Our opinion was that with some exciting cutting-edge startups we might find more traction with the technology media in attendance.

Designed to Attract

Swyft designed attractive digital and print collateral to share with individual journalists to invite them to the media lunch. The collateral was designed in a way that was consistent with the brand guidelines provided by Apex-Brasil and the overall design themes the organization employed at SXSW. The collateral proved a big hit and received positive comments from several attending media.

Proven Results

Turnout: Despite a surprise announcement at SXSWi that Elon Musk would be giving an unplanned presentation late in the morning of the same day we planned the lunch, media showed up in force with no less than 15 in attendance. The head of the Apex-Brasil delegation gave an informative speech about the recent economic crisis and Brazil’s commitment to fostering a tech-focused economy on a par with tech centers in similar countries. Journalists from local media like Silicon Hill’s News, Austin Business Journal and AustinInno attended. We also secured attendance from two producers at CNN International. There were a mix of lifestyle journalists as well given that there were a couple of tech – lifestyle startups included in our news pitch, most notably a commuter scooter company featured in TechCrunch.

Event Coordination: The event logistics, coordinated between Apex-Brasil and a local Brazilian steakhouse, came together smoothly. The event was attended by a mix of media, Brazilian startups, and Apex-Brasil staff. The seating arrangements (interspersing media with startup founders) and audio-visuals were well received, allowing for relationship building and an easy flow of information.

Mission Accomplished: The primary goal of advancing the narrative of a resurgent Brazil was successfully delivered to the national and local news media in attendance. We exceeded the goal of attracting 12 journalists at SXSWi — no minor feat given how competitive it is to engage with the media during the noisy, crowded, and highly unpredictable technology conference.


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