Save the Date!
By Faye Penn
Photo Credit: Gary Miller/Filmmagic/Getty Images
SXSW Interactive: March 8 12, 2013Film: March 8 16Music: March 12 17Austin, TX
WHAT IT IS:Originally hatched in 1987 as a launchpad for bands, seven years later the buzzy gabfest-slash-showcase has added film and multimedia. Last year's big news: a surprise appearance by Kanye West and a keynote by Bruce Springsteen.
WHY GO: You're a burgeoning brand with 48,000 Twitter followers and a popular Tumblr. Where do you go from here?
COST: Last year, late registration for the nine-day, all-access "platinum badge" cost $1,395. (C'mon, you spent more than that to get to Burning Man.) Early-bird hipsters pay a fraction of that.
WHO YOU'LL MEET: Overfunded creators of geo-targeted social apps and the next YouTube sensation. (Who wants to meet the dude who auto-tuned Mr. Rogers?!)
ACTION PLAN: Interactive: Log several miles daily as you race between panels at the sprawling Austin Convention Center. Film: Wish you were at Sundance, where the real action is. Music: Hit 64 live shows in hopes of finding the next Alabama Shakes.
LODGE HERE: The SXSW site has a handy hotel-booking tool that opens for business this month. Your goal is to book the closest room possible. Try the Four Seasons, Courtyard by Marriott, or Hilton Austin. Don't bother renting a car you'll want to be car-free for the nightly BBQ-and-beer binges.
HUNGRY GIRL: Franklin BBQ because it's the best, Hopdoddy Burger Bar for the killer condiments, Contigo for a foodie twist on Texas-ranch chow.
MUST-HAVE GEAR: Pedometer.
DRESS CODE: Mix-and-match Isabel Marant, Topshop, and back-of-the-closet "vintage."
HOOKUP PROSPECTS: High, especially for straight gals. Men far outnumber the ladies here great news if you like geeks, gamers, and self-styled artistes.
PRO TIP: Wear comfy shoes. Any brand cool is a malleable term here.