A panel titled “Miku: The Open-Source Girl Who Conquered the World” was held at SXSW this year, hosted by Alex Leavitt (social media academic researcher), Hiroyuki Itoh (CEO of Crypton Future Media), Kanae Muraki (US/EU marketing for Crypton) and Tara Knight (creator of Mikumentary). SXSW (South-by-Southwest) is an “annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin.” Being a proper professional conference, registration comes to approximately an order of magnitude higher than those of anime conventions. Live tweets from user @clairwil (1 2 3 4) seem to indicate this was the usual type of presentation given to introduce a general audience to Hatsune Miku and participatory culture. A photo from @bandeapartfm shows still some empty seats at the panel, suggesting that this was not an extremely popular one to attend at the conference. Alex Leavitt had also held a Miku-themed panel titled “The Open-Source Cult(ure) of Hatsune Miku” last year at SXSW, for which he made his slides (20MB PDF) available. In addition to the panel, Crypton Future Media had also held a booth on the exhibition floor, which basketball star Shaquille O’Neal supposedly visited. The official Hatsune Miku YouTube channel also posted a short video report of the booth at the trade show, and they were apparently giving out Miku-themed bags as well.