1042 sessions. 1695 speakers. 23,000+ attendees. Those were the numbers for SXSW Interactive 2011. Every year, SXSW Interactive, Film and Music move closer from being separate events to one media mecca at the Austin Convention Center.  SXSW is one of the most influential technology and media conferences, not to mention the most raging… *cough* we mean… engaging networking events on the planet. (Speaking of which, did you hear that Foo Fighters played at the (mt) SXSW Interactive Closing Party??)

SXSW is the one event where we get to see such a large and concentrated number of our clients, partners and friends from so many different industries. It is by far our most anticipated event of the year.

The Panels

We’ve been going to SXSW since the end of the great bubble.  We’ve watched the content shift from internet future trends and social internet theory to a more pragmatic focus. In some ways more now than ever, the future is now. Today the panels focus on ways to tackle real time problems in scaling business, delivering mobile content, social media impacts and web design and application platforms.

Check out some of our friends and the panels they spoke on this year…
Joe McCann
Ryan Sims
Tim Ferris
Matt Galligan
Gary Vaynerchuck
Derek Featherstone
Jason Santa Maria
Paul Boag
Brian Solis
Dan Zarrella

(mt) BBQ

Panels and discussions are great, but everyone knows that half the value of SXSW is the social engagement around town. The day before our closing party we threw a BBQ for some friends of (mt). It was a great opportunity to catch up with clients and colleagues and enjoy that famous Stubbs BBQ. Bacon-wrapped chicken and jalapenos anyone?

At the BBQ, we had the opportunity to interview a few industry leaders, getting their thoughts on SXSW and their respective industries. We’ll be posting that video in the near future so keep an eye on our blog.

The Closing Party

Looks like you guys had a blast this year. It’s going to be hard to top!

That was a comment someone made last year about our 2010 Closing Party. It was difficult to make happen, but we think we managed.

Hosted at the legendary Stubb’s BBQ, 2100+ people poured into the venue. Everyone was ready and waiting for the incredible music from Fitz & the Tantrums, Innerpartysystem and DJ Aaron Lacrate. The biggest surprise, however, came at the beginning of the night when our secret guests, Foo Fighters, took the stage. They started by playing their brand new album “Wasting Light” from start to finish, but then took us back in time playing what Grohl called a list of “massive f****** hits.”

Fitz & The Tantrums, Innerpartysystem, DJ Aaron Lacrate and the Foo Fighters all helped to put on an unforgettable show for everyone who attended. Once again it’ll be difficult to top next year but, as usual, the (mt) team will be up for the challenge.

As you can imagine, throwing the closing party for a conference with 23,000 people can be overwhelming and there were stressful moments, but the (mt) team came together along with the wonderful SXSW and Stubbs staff to put on a legendary event. We can’t say enough about how great everyone was that helped out, especially Katie and Darin.

If we met at SXSW be sure to leave a comment or shoot us an email saying hi again. If we didn’t get to shake hands, then you can find us at a number of future events or at SXSW next year where we will do it all again.