AUSTIN, Texas—We at Ars have woken from a taco-and-barbecued induced haze and managed to survive our largest outing to date at the annual South by Southwest conference. The event wraps this weekend after 10 packed days (loosely) defined by tech, policy, film, gaming, and entertainment. If you haven’t attended recently, it’s a radically different event even from a few years ago.
On the conference’s 30th anniversary, in fact, SXSW CPO Hugh Forrest kicked everything off by showing the event’s original program from 1987. Want a microcosm of the festival’s evolution? Forrest planned (and designed that pamphlet) all on his Mac+. Today, he says it now takes nine months of planning/prep so the conference can both function and add new wrinkles, like its app chatbot, Abby.