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SXSW: You Don’t Need to be Here

Just an interesting side note. I read an article this week that at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival Kathy Sierra questioned why attendees would bother to show up at a conference in person in the age of live blogging and streaming content. With an opening line of “You don’t need to be here” a few the left the conference room through the back doors. It is an interesting point. I have never been a huge fan of conferences because I never leave feeling like it was worth the time or the money.

Kathy Sierra’s comments remind me of a speech I heard from architect Frank Gehry. Frank stood in the front of the room at a small conference and said “Why are you all here? You are all professionals and smart people. Do you think I came up with the museum in Bilbao sitting in an Architectural Digest conference? Stop looking at other people’s ideas and start coming up with your own.”

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