From The Pittsburgh Business Times
The biggest take away from the trip, Russo said, is that “Pittsburgh cannot remain a fly over zone.”
I guess I'm wondering what people thought about it? Guessing which event might blow up to this kind of international scale is like playing the lottery. It does help however if you at least attempt to play the game. Much smaller and less known cities like Grand Rapids have created nationally known events.
The Wikipedia says SXSW founders originally thought the event would just be of regional interest. However, they made no effort to exclude participants based on geography.
Pittsburgh's GA/GI Festival is a showcase of local creativity.
Plans for a Pittsburgh Maker Faire turned into the "mini Maker Faire", showcasing all local projects.
Pyrotopia, originally planned to be the biggest fire Festival in the East, suddenly decided, it might be best to just involve--only locals.
Handmade Arcade, which although it moved to the convention center seems to be involving fewer non local crafters.
One could go-on and on listing all the mini, local or hyper, hyper local events. The plus side, is often a lower level of competition and lots of chances to support and showcase local talent. The flip side is the almost complete lack of chances to interact, meet or collaborate with people from outside the city, without leaving the city. Almost every significant Pittsburgh event for emerging talent excludes non local participation from the start.
Often, many of the better known and connected local folks decide that participating in these events just isn't worth the effort.