To Stand Out at SXSW, Give Them Something to Tweet About
Entrepreneur is on the ground for SXSW. Check back for highlights from the festival as well as insights on trends from thought leaders and innovators.
More than 51,000 people are expected to descend onto downtown Austin this year for the festival’s Interactive and Film events. And while the convention center is a draw – with hundreds of panels and events – there’s plenty beyond its walls.
As companies both old- and new-school clamor to align with the festival’s innovative, look-forward message, it can be a struggle for relevancy and to rise above the noise. The most successful tents, booths and stations show more than they tell, bringing attendees into an experience and giving them something unique and something worth tweeting about. Here are a few that caught our attention as we wandered through the madness that is SXSW 2015.
Take it to a new level
Make Fantasies Realities
Make the virtual physical
Mashable House was a shrine to all things viral. VIP guests included “The Dress” (in person, it’s definitively blue and black) and Left Shark. On entering visitors could receive temporary emoji tattoos (Including the pizza slice and smiley-face poop icon).
Let them strike a pose
Throughout the event, companies provided attendees one-of-a-kind opportunities to pose with mascots (like Morris the Cat and Ronald McDonald), or insert themselves into shareable gifs and eye-catching animations. These gimmicks help attendees forget (almost) that they were doing a company’s promotions for them.
Show what you can do
3M, the true inventor of the Post-it, develops far more than office supplies. To tell that story, the company stocked their tent with software engineers who could explain in detail products like Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes that allow doctors to remotely monitor heartbeats. But the hands-on experiences here are the real draw, including a station where attendees draw and design their own bags from 3M’s Scotchlite Reflective Material, a mirror-like fabric used to increase the nighttime visibility of joggers and firefighters.
Nearby, a 3M employee demonstrates the 3M Clean-Trace System, a liquid that, when rubbed on any given surface, determines its level of contamination within seconds. By measuring the energy emitted, the Clean-Trace System determines the amount of bacteria, oil and other contaminants present. It’s a technology that’s used widely in the restaurant and hospital industry, but unknown to most consumers. So, at the 3M station, the technology tests the cleanliness (or, more often, filthiness) of festival-goers’ smartphones. (While a reading below 200 is ideal, some pushed close to the 2,000 mark. Yikes).