This year was the first year for SXSW (South by Southwest) to have the President and First Lady do keynotes. It was also its 30 year anniversary in Austin, Texas. SXSW consists of a technology interactive portion, music performances and film viewings throughout 2 weeks in March. Attendees travel in from out of the country and attracts a lot of new talent trying to get noticed.
The Austin Convention Center is where most panels are located, and also the showroom floor where you get a chance to view new and innovative technology. It is also where you check in and get your badge at the beginning of SXSW. The star of SXSW Interactive showroom floor was the Save the American Inventor robot which consisted of a bunch of past and current technology to make this giant robot.
For the first time SXSW had Interactive and Film during the same dates plus Music crossed over with the last part of Film. This gave attendees to choose convergence events that were not just for one portion but also they had a long list of venues that allowed either pass. Hopefully they will do this again next year since it gave the huge crowd that travels here more options so venue aren’t as crowded
SXSW Interactive was kicked off with a keynote from President Barack Obama at Long Center in downtown Austin, TX. During the keynote the President called on the SXSW audience and tech companies to help solve the nation’s biggest problems by working in conjunction with the United States government. Per President Barack Obama’s keynote he stated “It’s not enough to focus on the cool, next big thing. It’s harnessing the cool, next big thing to help people in this country.” President Barack Obama also reminded and encouraged attendees and listeners around the country to make an impact in their communities. To view President Barack Obama’s keynote in its entirety or learn more about his visit to Austin you can find it here on the SXSW site.
On Saturday of SXSW Interactive C3 Connected Mobility Showcase hosted an event in the Garage in downtown with live music. Throughout the year the C3 Group is focusing on present and future technology including connected cars, self-driving vehicles, highly detailed digital mapping and alternative modes of personal transportation. During this event Bosch introduced the new and improved eBike technology, informed visitors what will be trending throughout the year and they also let people test out their eBike system.
Spotify kicked it up a notch this year with having Miguel perform during Interactive and for free. It’s truly rare that they have a great musical artist during the SXSW Interactive portion as they are normally performing during the SXSW Music portion. Though the weather was unreliable due to the rain it stopped right before Miguel’s outdoor concert and it was such an amazing performance.
The last SXSW event I attended was Michelle Obama’s Keynote panel which was moderated by Queen Latifa and the panel included Missy Elliot, Sofia Bush, Diane Warren and of course Michelle Obama. The main topic was empowering women, because we have a voice and it needs to be heard! During Michelle’s panel she informed the country we not only have 62 Million females throughout the world underfunded but also of her Let Girls Learn Program that will help and educate women and children internationally.
SXSW each year continues to grow and it’s worth going to it at least once to visit the beautiful city of Austin, the live music scene, and SXSW events.