Where/when: Austin, Texas; March
Type of offerings: Music, film, and digital media
2014 dates & ticket prices: March 7-16; admission prices start at $495
Vibe: Crowded, celebratory, frenetic, and keyed in to all things media—especially music, given its origins as a music fest. The significant presence of many start-ups adds dynamic energy throughout the event, and a hipster sensibility pervades venues throughout the city.
Audience: The 2014 iteration drew an estimated 150,000 people, who turned out for all or part of the 10-day program. Among the ranks are mostly twenty- and thirtysomethings, with more than one in 10 traveling from abroad. It leans more heavily toward male attendees—about 60 percent to 40 percent female.
Past event hosts: USA Network, 3M, Beats by Dre, Sonos, Filter, Fader, MySpace
Past main event sponsors: Chevrolet, Friskies, American Airlines, Oreo, Yahoo, Smirnoff, Taco Bell, SideCar
What works: Media-, music-, tech-, and innovation-heavy parties and activations are right for this crowd—last year 3M even used a disturbingly lifelike digital avatar named Jenny that directed guests to panels and events at the Austin Convention Center. Official and unofficial events take over hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs throughout the city.
What doesn't work: Events without a surprising interactive element—or another obvious draw like headlining entertainment—will have trouble rising above the noise.