Preview: Seattle Interactive Conference
The Conference Center at WA State Convention Center, Seattle, WA

sic-logoThere’s a lot of talk in Seattle about a rift between the arts and technology, between a vibrant city and a tech boom, between creativity and making a profit. So what to do about it? Well, we suggest meeting in the middle, and you can start this month at the Seattle Interactive Conference.

The annual two-day event takes place October 18 and 19 in downtown Seattle, celebrating the convergence of what, on the surface, might seem like disparate ideas. But when you get down to it, the inter-connectivity of tech trends, disruptive business, online commerce, social media, gaming, and more, is where it’s at.

With more than 125 speakers, there’s something for everyone, and no other conference boasts a lineup of this diversity and heft. Take for instance, photographer Ricky Powell, who is taping an episode of his podcast live at the event. The NYC street photography legend has been capturing intimate, environmental portraits of everyone from multi-platinum artists and celebrities to strangers on the street since he first went on tour with The Beastie Boys and Run DMC back in 1986. Surely he’s got some wisdom to share.

There’s a pretty rad panel with Megan Tweed (Edelman), Greg Vandy (KEXP), Patrick Duffy (Electric Coffin), and Andrew Russell (Intiman Theatre) on “The Power of Art in Marketing Communications” that will focus on how art can inspire, influence perceptions, and incite action. We predict it will get deep given the the speakers representing brands that highly value the power art and its ability to convey personal and meaningful cultural beliefs.

And then there’s David Harris, the Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development with a session about creating physical community in a digital world. He’s all about resource-constrained communities learning, creating, and sharing knowledge, tools, and materials to create feasible, culturally relevant opportunities for upward economic mobility. That short description is enough to get us to set down our smartphones in exchange for a little IRL time.

With a knack for getting creatives and bureaucrats to work cohesively, James Keblas – co-founder of The Vera Project, co-host of City Inspired – is speaking in a session titled “How Kevin Bacon Saved Seattle: The Seattle Music Story You Never Heard and Why It Matters Today.” Supposedly it’s about the evolution of the Seattle music economy, which is cool. But if it gets us one degree closer to Kevin Bacon, we’re definitely in.

And last but in no way least, everyone’s favorite local singer-songwriter, David Bazan, will give a talk and live concert. With his humbling, vulnerable, and twisting path from Pedro The Lion to living room success, the opportunity to hear where he came from and what he’s learned is a great one for other local artists. Plus who’s gonna turn down a show?

And that’s just a handful of the sessions planned over the course of this event. There’s plenty of other meaty content to dive into as well, from cannabis to sports, social media to how not to make an ass out of yourself. We’re not even kidding about that last one. Check out the full schedule here, and scoop up your tickets below to join us there!


Regular Rate

  • Gold Conference Pass: $499
  • Student/Faculty/Non-profit/Gov: $99

Walkup Rate

  • Gold Conference Pass: $599
  • Student/Faculty/Non-profit/Gov: $149

Preview by Stephanie Dore