Despite the fact that it's Friday the 13th, creativity, innovation, inspiration, and good fortune buzz throughout the air in Austin on this notoriously ominous day. Today marks the first day of the 22nd Annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival, where 72,000+ arts, entertainment and marketing registrants hail the streets of the hipster-laden Texas town.
Each year, SXSW Interactive plays host to the brightest minds in marketing, advertising, design and technology. Today through March 17, innovators from around the country experience presentations and panels, networking events, trade shows, product demos, and parties galore.
The vibe is virtually transcendental among locals and visitors. "The city is filled with anticipation and the streets are teeming with tech-heads looking for the best whole in the wall to grab a bite or to listen to some live music, seeking to experience the weirdness that Austin is so famous for," said Ricardo Casas CEO of Austin-based digital agency Fahrenheit.io.
Whether you're physically there or tuning in virtually, here is what you need to know about this creative consortium...
If You're There:
- Plan ahead: It's easy to get overwhelmed with the multitude of presentations and events available. To avoid scrambling, use your downtime to plan out your day. Hit the presentations your passionate about and map out where the sessions are located.
Startup founders looking for investors, interactive marketers looking for creative inspiration, technology solutions looking to boost their business -- whatever your case -- plan who you want to meet and make it a priority to network with them. Whether you're meeting over beers or in more formal setting, making connections is key.
If You're Tuning In From Afar:
It doesn't take physical presence to take advantage of SXSW's offerings... Tune in from your couch to SXSW Live, a live-stream of performances, interviews, and exclusive sessions from artists, digital creatives and industry stars.
At SXSW Interactive, it's all about community and innovation. It undoubtedly stands up to the self-proclamation as "the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today".
Image source: Killer Infographics