For five days in March, technology executives and aficionados convened in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest Interactive. The conference featured talks by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and former Vice President Al Gore along with the usual smattering of panels, startup competitions, product demos and late-night parties. Crowds were expected to swell to 28,000 attendees, about 5 percent more than last year's event.
The lineup of more than 1,000 panel sessions included topics as varied as virtual reality, 3-D printing and space exploration. While the annual gathering is famous for helping give rise to success stories such as Twitter and Foursquare, this year's conference was notable for its lack of big product launches or breakout companies.