I’m a serious booster for SXSW Interactive. You might say, my booster-ism makes me a SXSW Interactive-ist (or “Interactivist” for short).
The reason is because, in my opinion, SXSW Interactive is one of the handful of institutions that deserves credit for helping to make Austin the thriving success that it is today.
Of course, it’s success was never a guarantee. And, if it wasn’t for the “grind it out” persistence of Director Hugh Forrest and the willingness by ownership to take the long view, then it wouldn’t be what it is today…perhaps wouldn’t *be* at all!
Hugh writes about this history and others of his lessons learned as a startup event entrepreneur in the Director’s Cut edition of Naturally Caffeinated. His reflections alone are reason enough to buy a copy of the book!
Over the years, I’ve been involved in as many ways as possible with the festival itself including, as: speaker, panel moderator, exhibitor, sponsor, venue host, award honoree (for the Deweys), registration volunteer, programming committee member, housing provider, and – last but definitely not least – an audience member / festival-goer at the panels, music, films, and parties.
As a SXSW Interactivist, I try to respond to every survey, feedback form, and request for input as possible, as my small part to help constantly improve the event and keep it great! As a result, my digital footprints are in a number of places on the website…
For 2016, I plan to participate across the spectrum – as a Platinum badger – for the first time in many years, checking out the music, film, parties and as much of the 24×7 scene as possible.
See you there, among the SXSW Interactivist ranks!