SXSW Interactive, now entering its 21st year, officially surpassed the music festival in terms of paid attendees in 2010, with 14,251 people on hand. Three years later, the Interactive conference welcomed twice that number.
Some of the biggest Internet brands took off at the show – and several notable up and coming sites have the Austin get-together to thank for their early traction. Here are some of the most notable success stories.
The annual South by Southwest conference has always been viewed as a place for independent artists and startups to shine. Musicians, filmmakers and new tech companies all compete for awareness among the show’s influential show goers (who often act as evangelists for what they like when they return home).
With the surge of growth in SXSW, though, large companies have invaded the show, looking to capitalize on that same audience, to build awareness for their new products or try to woo some of those evangelists to sing their praises when they return home.
Some, though, just want to cash in on the crowd.
The show, dubbed “geek spring break” by some, has grown beyond its music and film roots to become a gathering spot for venture capitalists and some of the biggest stars in the tech world. But as it has grown, it has become more difficult for startups to turn heads.