#SXSW Interactive: a new must on the fashion calendar

I have just returned from the most incredible week at SXSW Interactive, where speakers varied from Al Gore and Sean Parker, to Ray Kurweil, Biz Stone and Dennis Crowley.

I’m in the midst of finishing off a piece on the key thoughts and ideas from the week – to be published elsewhere [UPDATE: if you’re interested please email me for a copy].

In the meantime, I wanted to write one very short and simple blogpost that says, if you’re a fashion brand aiming to achieve anything along the lines of digital success, you need to go next year.

SXSW is the place to hear industry leaders (aforementioned and more) give expert insights; it’s the place to learn about new innovations and source fresh inspirations; and it’s the place where trends and directions for the tech world break.

But more importantly, it’s the hottest place to network with anyone and everyone also working in this space. Serendipity as Mashable calls it here. From meeting new start-ups and coordinating with established platforms, to swapping ideas with those from your own industry, it’s the perfect playing ground for getting your head both in the game and ahead of the curve.

And if that isn’t convincing enough, it speaks volumes to see which brands are already doing it. There this year were teams from Burberry, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorfs, Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi… not to mention fashion-specific platforms including Lyst and publications from The Business of Fashion and WGSN, to Fashion’s Collective.

It was undoubtedly one of the most valuable experiences of my career to date.

I hope to see you there in 2013!