Hugh Forrest — Growing the SXSW Mega-Conference
Episode 107 • Published Feb 20, 2017
Director at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival, Hugh Forrest has overseen it from its inception in the mid-90s to see it turn into a mega-conference, hosting a sitting President of the United States as keynote speaker.
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- 1:00 Launch in 28 days and they are on schedule
- 3:15 Weather is nice and weather conditions in Austin
- 5:07 Why did you decide to have multimedia with music?
- 6:40 What’s the comparison between music and interactive at SXSW?
- 7:20 Interactive portion is more appealing, but music is more attended
- 8:50 Interactive probably wouldn’t have survived without the music event.
- 11:00 70,000 people are projected to attend and future growth projections
- 12:20 Even though a lot of people attend, the creation is still the focus.
- 15:00 “Second Story” panel
- 15:45 The coolest thing you see at SXSW is something you weren’t even expecting
- 16:40 Hallway discussions that are completely unplanned, but they are sometimes better than the panel
- 18:01 How you get introverts in the industry to network?
- 19:45 How do you define a meetup?
- 21:30 Speaking submissions need to be submitted 8 months ahead of time. About 4,700 people request to speak.
- 23:50 Accounting for hot new technologies is part of the process.
- 25:10 The submission process was used only with Interactive, but migrated to music and film.
- 26:35 Video has to be submitted when requests are made to speak
- 28:50 So many people have a TED or TEDx video to look at.
- 32:12 5,000 max submissions that panel pickers go through, what the process is to weed out submissions and vote for submissions
- 33:05 What is the process for submitting a talk to SXSW Interactive?
- 38:45 What are unique challenges for SXSW?
- 42:25 How much effort was it to book President Obama last year?
- 45:15 SXSW is only a month away. Prices are at walk-up price now.
- 48:48 Bots are the new things that are going to be a big thing coming up
- 50:25 Wrap up and closing