All Things Promotional at SXSW

As a PR pro, the promotional items and transportation options definitely caught my attention. 

Unique promotional items 

NY Times had a booth for signing attendees up for subscriptions. They were also creating unique images designed from a photo of your face and words from your favorite section of the paper.


Walking around with floppy disks? I had to stop and find out why. With BucketFeet, a different artist designs every shoe. 


Seamless “Push to Eat” device that directs to the website. Interesting take to develop in hard form a way to decrease time getting to the site.


Want to create the photo booth effect at your event (without the actual booth or hard copy photos)? Photo booths were very popular at SXSW. Instead of only printing out the images, photo booths have gone social allowing photos to be automatically uploaded to social networks watermarked with the brand logo and relevant hashtag. 

o Taking this even a step farther is a company that’s new to the scene – Tagkast – a Chicago-based company I found on the trade show floor. Removing the actual booth allows for enough space for any activation. They’re also available to have roaming photographers on site at events to capture the spontaneous attendee moments and they hire freelance photographers so there are always many available.  

Getting around town 

Catch a Chevy – Cars driving on downtown Austin available for free rides. Attendees can tweet them or flag one down like a cab. When cabs are hard to come by these were amazing! 

I thought the RVIP Lounge was the perfect vehicle to have on site. After investigating it turns out they are here, but not promoting to the fullest extent. They could have leveraged hashtags/influencers to help promote; however, the tweets I saw from followers were positive. 

Pedi cabs are a go-to option for getting around downtown Austin – Oreo and Podio are two of the brands that sponsored pedi cabs with advertising/social promotion. 

For brands, transportation seems like a natural place to activate instead of trying to force something in the convention center. The copy can make a play off of getting around town and incentivizing riders with giveaways through the hashtag will keep the conversation flowing. If it’s a larger shuttle, brands can have reps on board to talk one-on-one about their services. 



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