<span class="caption left"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/news/image/Next%20Stage_JW001.JPG" width="220" height="147" alt="" class="image-medium" />Photo courtesy of JW Walthall</span>
A new year on the [Next Stage](http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/next-stage), located on the Trade Show floor, brings in even more intriguing performances, presentations and opportunities at this center for convergence!
An extended series from last season, [Agency Speed Dating: Get to Know Your Next Employer in 300 Seconds](http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/next-stage), turns the tables and gives agencies the chance to pitch themselves to you, the career-seeker. We welcome Fleishman-Hillard, Waggener Edstrom, Resource, SapientNitro, Threespot, POP, Edelman Digital, R/GA and Duarte Design as our participating agencies. Our new daily series, [Casting Calls at SXSW](http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/next-stage), also gives the chance at a big break as actors and actresses audition for actual projects being casted by local casting directors, Beth Sepko (Friday Night Lights, Sin City, Bernie) and Vicky Boone (Tree of Life, Scenes from the Suburbs).
Grab an inside look at the evolving world of visual effects with Ed Ulbrich, who shocked thousands when his Tupac Shakur hologram took the stage at Coachella or catch a laugh with Heather Knight's robot-turned-comedian that interacts with each audience response– be it an uproar of laughter or a silent cricket chirp. Don't miss these fine performances along with thought-provoking panels on the trend of music tech startups and how to activate your audience for a cause. This and much more to be discovered on the [Next Stage](http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/next-stage)!