SXSW Interactive 2013: Day One

Written by Madison Andrews

It’s Day One at SXSW Interactive 2013 in Austin, Texas. Madison Andrews has a guide of things to do while you are there. Catch the parties, shows and find out the latest in music, film and tech.

SXSW Interactive 2013 kicks off today in Austin, Texas. We here at can’t wait to see what’s trending in music, film and tech. Here’s what we’re most excited about for day one of SXSW Interactive.


Image credit: Madison Andrews

Join web and mobile experts in an all-day Hackathon for Social Good, from 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the AT&T Conference Center. The day kicks off with short presentations by educators and non-profit organizations, along with informational sessions on building sites and web applications. RSVP to attend, and bring a Wi-Fi-enabled computer along with your design, programming or project management expertise.

From 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Palmer Events Center, innovative thinkers can match their talent with equally cutting-edge employers at the Digital Creative Job Market. No pass? No problem — this event is free and open to the public.

Pre-registration is required, however, for the SXSW BBQ Crash Course, which starts at 11 a.m. in the East Tent at Brush Square Park. It’s a great opportunity to sample Central Texas BBQ while networking with fellow attendees.

Check out Northrop Grumman’s tennis court-sized, four story-high, full-scale construction of the Webb Telescope on March 8 – 10 at the Long Center. Free and open to the public, the James Webb Telescope Exhibit will feature activities with NASA and a demonstration of Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope.

Head over to the second annual SXSW Create — a free-to-the-public, outdoor event across from the Austin Convention Center featuring “disruptive creations, innovative tools and unique fabrication methods.” The focus is hands-on activity at this playful interactive venue. Participants include SparkFun, MIT Media Lab, Texas Instruments and Tech Shop Austin, among others.

The SXSW Gaming Expo is a three-day tribute to gaming culture in Exhibit Hall 1 of the Palmer Events Center. Between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. today, explore the hands-on product demos and take advantage of networking opportunities at this Nintendo-sponsored event. It’s free and open to the public. Why not bring the kids?

BIT (Blacks in Technology) Programming is a new addition to the 2013 SXSW Interactive festival, featuring over 50 panels and sessions related to the experience of digital designers, developers, entrepreneurs, trend-setters and visionaries from the African-American community. BIT programming at the Hilton Inn requires a pass, but anyone can attend the kick-off party today at 6 p.m. at the Carver Museum & History Center — which will also feature the Top 10 Black Innovators of 2012 Awards.

Join Wired’s senior editor Michael Copeland for the panel presentation “Designing Habits: From Big Data to Small Changes” at 3:30 p.m. at the Creekside Sheraton. The panel will explore how big data can be truly valuable by affecting positive behavior change. Other panel participants include Jeffrey Holove, CEO of Basis Science, Inc.; Steph Habif, a Healthcare Design Strategist at Stanford University; and Mayfield Fund’s Managing Director Tim Chang.

Meet with civic hackers from around the country at the Civic Hacking Meet Up (from 5 – 6 p.m. in the SXSW Create tent) to discuss open data, civic apps, and other tools you can use in your community. Or learn best practices for effective SEO at How to Rank Better in Google & Bing (5 p.m. in room 18ABCD in the Austin Convention Center) — a must-attend event for publishers and bloggers alike.

There’s no shortage of happy hours at this admittedly boozy festival — head over to the Appy Awards Cocktail Party at 5 p.m. in Salon C of the AT&T Conference Center, where you can toast the winners of this year’s competition.

Opening Party-Frog Design Poster

Image credit: Frog Design

You can also kick off this year’s interactive fest at the Opening Party presented by Frog Design — it’s loud, visual, and “interactive” in every sense of the word.

What are your plans for day one of SXSW Interactive? We at want to know!