The annual SXSW Conference & Festivals will close out this year’s run with the 2019 SXSW Gaming Festival, taking place from March 15 to 17 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Gaming can be somewhat of a loose term at this point, as toys and games continue to merge into a new world of connected play.

TechUp, a curated service designed by connected play experts Peter Jenkinson (Toyology) and Valerie Vacante (Collabsco) will showcase five new products that are turning heads following early previews at CES in Las Vegas and Toy Fair New York. Additionally, a trio of panels will focus on the future of play, with appearances by innovators from Hasbro, Mattel, and others.

Toys and Games of Today and The Future of Play

Fri., 3/15 1:00pm-2:00pm  | Gaming Expo Discovery Stage

The near future will bring a greater variety in choice, ways to play, and types of innovative technologies available. Hear perspective from Valerie Vacante (Collabsco), Gerry Cody (Hot Wheels Innovation at Mattel), Zai Ortiz (X2 Games), and John Keefe (SwapBots) as they discuss how the future of interactive play will be crafted through immersive stories, augmented reality collectibles, and the power of voice.

Connected Play: Gamifying the World Around Us

Fri., 3/15  3:30-4:30 p.m. | ROOM 8C

Connected play is expected to be an $18 billion industry within the next five years. As new and emerging tech experiences evolve, learn how designers and developers are creating safe, connected play experiences that help us play, learn, and explore in the physical and digital world. Panelists include Valerie Vacante (Collabsco), Phil Sage (Hasbro iPlay), Meir Biton (StoryBall), and Krissa Watry (Dynepic Inc.).

Global Tech Toy and Games Meetup

Sat., 3/16  3:30-4:30 p.m. | ROOM 8AB

Gerry Cody (Hot Wheels Innovation at Mattel), Rich Mazel (Hasbro), and Valerie Vacante (Collabsco) will offer insight on how to bring your toy or game to new international audiences.

TechUp will offer attendees the opportunity to see, play, and experience some of the latest tech toys and games from around the world, including TechMods (Mattel), SwapBots (Draw and Code), St. Noire (X2 Games),  MekaMon (Reach Robotics) and Untamed Mad Lab Minis (WowWee).