Why South by Southwest—in Its 30th Year and More Branded Than Ever—Still Matters

Conference hasn't yet 'jumped the shark'

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South by Southwest has always been a haven for creatives who want to market themselves. And while the sorts of creatives flocking to the Austin, Texas, conference have shifted over the years and evolved—it's not just a place where musicians hungry for exposure go as it was in 1987, or where a tech brand like Twitter can blow up as it did in 2007—the question of whether SXSW is still worth the price of admission has bubbled.

The conference, which turns 30 this year and kicks off with its Interactive and Film portions Friday, is nothing if not noisy—and it will likely only get noisier this year with President Obama set to take the stage.



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