How SXSW Landed the President and First Lady With Persistence and Good Timing

It took years of contact with the White House

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South by Southwest Interactive director Hugh Forrest watched President Obama's State of the Union address in January more intently than he had in previous years. He was listening for clues. 

"There was a point," Forrest told Adweek, "where the president was talking about centers of innovation, and he said, 'Austin.' I thought, 'That's a good sign.'"

It was a positive omen, for sure. SXSW officials revealed Wednesday that Obama will speak at the interactive conference while first lady Michelle Obama will appear during the music portion.



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