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updated 3/12/2012 6:16:55 AM ET 2012-03-12T10:16:55

Austin, Texas has a reputation as a bustling city. But for the past week, things have been eerily calm. It’s the calm before the storm, and that storm is the five day 19th Annual SXSW Interactive Festival (and then five more days of the Film and Music festivals).

What started as South By Southwest's awkward little cousin, the Interactive festival has exploded from 800 to 19,000 attendees since 1994 and is recognized as one of the premier events for showcasing cutting edge technology, industry pioneers and an international stage to proclaim The Next Big Thing. Naturally, this attracts a plethora of talent -- from startups to Fortune 100 companies -- to converge in Austin and network, share ideas, forge new contacts and investors, and, most importantly, enjoy all that springtime in Austin has to offer.

In marking our second year of combined coverage, Entrepreneur and Door Number 3 will be diving headfirst into it all for you. If you can’t make it to SXSW this year, just point your browsers here. For the next five days, we will serve as your eyes and ears on the ground, inside the conference panels and around the cocktail bars. The Interactive festival, housed mainly in the downtown convention center, can be an arena of pure chaos. Imagine tens of thousands of people, laptops, tablets or smart phones in hand, speed walking in every direction to get to the next discussion panel, interview, Q&A, meet and greet, trade show booth or cup of caffeine.

Related: SXSW 2012 Kicks Off (Video)
 

Reid Hoffman

Steve Case

Pinterest

What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's SXSW Interactive Festival? Leave a comment and let us know.

Related: Reid Hoffman, Permanent Beta and the Startup of You

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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