Editor’s note: Triangle executives and entrepreneurs are heading to Austin for the South by Southwest festival, which formally opens on Friday. Laura Baverman, editor of ExitEvent, provides a preview of the Triangle’s many connections to be on display in tech’s and culture’s capital for the next 10 days.

DURHAM, N.C. – South by Southwest is a beast. There’s no other way to describe it.

After an hour search through programming and events last night, I sort of planned just one of my three days in Austin this coming week. God help me.

The festival continues to grow every year because more and more companies and brands see it as the one place and time in the world where technology, business and entertainment collide with such magnitude. Conversations that happen at South By help to inform and provide context to the innovation going on in our communities.

And the chosen keynote speakers tend to paint a picture of trends and movements coming in the year ahead. This year, there’s Vice President Joe Biden, talking about his cancer initiative, CRISPRCas9 co-founder Jennifer Doudna, “Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World” author and Wharton professor Adam Grant, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Cory Richards and Yasmin Green, whose work at Google think tank Jigsaw helps divert potential ISIS recruits from consuming extremist content online.

Check out how local entrepreneurs, thought leaders and startups are involved at the festival, and read on over the next week as we attempt to chronicle their activities and other trends from SXSW 2017.

For the preview, go to:

These Locals Have Big Hopes, Big Ideas for SXSW

To follow SXSW live and to get more details, visit:

Welcome to SXSW 2017: Explore Daily Coverage and Resources