Banners hang in the atrium of the Austin Convention Center on the eve of the opening of the 27th South By Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival.
Banners hang in the atrium of the Austin Convention Center on the eve of the opening of the 27th South By Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival. - 
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This week, Marketplace heads down South to SXSW, the Austin-based conference and festival that spans film, music, and technology. We'll kick off our coverage with SXSWedu, a four day event looking at where innovation meets education. Then, it's on to SXSW Interactive, where some of the greatest minds in tech converge to talk about trends in the industry and to preview some of their newest wares. But before we get started on our breakfast tacos, here's a look at the numbers behind SXSW.

Click the media player above to hear more about SXSWedu and the future of the classroom.

SXSW by the numbers:

5 years old

This year, SXSWedu turns 5 years old. While just 800 people attended the first 'edu' conference and festival, last year's conference saw 5,933 participants from 35 different countries. Since 2012, attendance has tripled.


That's how many people attended the SXSW Interactive conference in 2014. Participants came from 82 different countries, and had 1,100 panels to choose from.


That's the total number of SXSW mentions on social media during the week of SXSW Interactive 2014 alone. Among the top trending topics were Edward Snowden, Lady Gaga, and the NSA.

60,450 room nights

2014 saw 13,990 individual hotel reservations in Austin by SXSW attendees. All told, that adds up to 60,450 room nights. And that doesn't even account for bookings on Airbnb, which the service claims reached 11,000 SXSW-related bookings.

$315.3 million

SXSW brings a lot of people, and therefore a lot of money, into Austin. By the festival's estimate, $315.3 million was pumped into the city's economy during last year's festival.


SXSW is more than just panels and expos ... it's also parties. Side parties, to be specific. And this year's festival has a lot of them: 370 side parties ranging from a pet adoption happy hour to a karaoke night for tech lovers.

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Follow Adriene Hill at @adrienehill