Nine days before the start of the 27th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, with its Interactive, Film and Music components running March 8-17, Roland Swenson is spending much of his time on email and iChat making sure everything is headed toward the finish line.
8:00 AM I drop off my daughter at school.
9:00 AM After 45 minutes of answering emails, I speak with our attorneys about various lawsuits filed against us and ones we have filed. We're also working on our trademark application for a Las Vegas event, V2V. If we do it by a certain date, we can trademark it in 20 countries for a lot less money.
9:30 AM Today is the deadline for a bunch of our publications. I met with the art staff to go over program guides, our magazine and various handouts. A lot of them have been working 18-hour days.
10:00 AM I approve comps for the staff and business. It's everything from people in hotels to sales deals. I then surfed our website and was pleased we had announced that Green Day was playing.
11:30 AM I reviewed a slide show we're going to do in tribute to [SXSW creative director] Brett Grulke, who died in August. It will be a short memorial with a three-minute film on [March 14] at the Convention Center.
11:45 AM [Red Light Management founder] Coran Capshaw called asking what days he should be here. I encouraged him to attend the Interactive event because he had not been to it before.
1:00 PM Every day I review all our numbers-how many have signed up, press credentials, bank statements and so on. Right now, it looks like Music is flat and Interactive and Film are both up.
2:00 PM I attended a meeting for the safety team where they were developing the protocol for [emergencies].
6:00 PM We had a meeting about the ticket-drawing system, the lottery that we used last year with [Bruce] Springsteen. It's a slightly different system through SXsocial that we'll use for the Green Day and Nick Cave shows and others.
6:30 PM My wife and I celebrated our daughter's 15th birthday with dinner at home.
9:00 PM Brought leftover birthday cake to the art department at the office.