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The Biggest Buzz Coming From SXSWi (Hint: It Wasn’t the Technology)

Last week was the annual tech event SXSWi. I once heard this conference dubbed as Spring Break for Geeks, and as someone who has attended 4 times – I can say, yes that is a very accurate description.

If you’ve never attended SXSWi, it’s an intense, crowded, non-stop party with numerous panels about everything under the sun. If you do it right, it’s an experience like no other. There are the biggest names in tech and the internet all mixed in with a handful of geeky celebrities (and then add several thousand attendees ranging from bloggers to company reps).

When I say SXSWi is a non-stop party, I seriously mean P-A-R-T-Y. Sure, from around 8-5 there are panels in that will tell you about what’s new in the tech world, but as soon as you walk leave a session its sponsor-palooza.

With the most influential people on the web in one centralized location, SXSWi is a mecca for word of mouth marketing. Companies and brands will do anything to get their product known. They buy out local bars (one year I recall CNN buying out the naming rights to a restaurant for the weeks of SXSW), they hire people to do the craziest things (oh the costumes) and of course there is the constant flow of swag (and free beer).

With all of this hoopla, what becomes the most talked about thing at SXSWi? Yes, the majority of pics and buzz this year were not from the panels (oh wait, there was Kim Dotcom’s floating head), but from the brands that were most creative. So, what creative hijinks were the most popular this year?


  • The Biggest Buzz from SXSWi 1 of 10
    The Biggest Buzz from SXSWi
    What were people buzzing about this year? Here are the most photographed hypes from this year's event.
  • Internet Memes IRL 2 of 10
    Internet Memes IRL
    Mashable and their smartness teamed up with 2 of the most popular internet meme characters, Grumpy Cat and Scumbag Steve for a internet meme IRL experience.
    Read More on Mashable
  • Mascots (or are these plushies?) 3 of 10
    Mascots (or are these plushies?)
    A classic marketing move that people still seem to love is the mascots. Here PBS Kids shows off Curious George with @GenPink
    image source: instgram.com
    image by: GenPink
  • Sponsored Pedicabs 4 of 10
    Sponsored Pedicabs
    The streets of Austin around the convention center were littered with sponsored Pedicabs, such as this one by Oreos.
    image source: web.sta.gram
  • The Parties (Sponsored, of COURSE!) 5 of 10
    The Parties (Sponsored, of COURSE!)
    The tweets and photo coverage of the sponsored parties from SXSWi were constant.
    image source: web.stagram.com
  • Obnoxious Vehicles 6 of 10
    Obnoxious Vehicles
    What better way to grab some attention than driving around in an obnoxious vehicle. This is the vehicle HootSuite drove around.
    image source: web.stagram.com
  • Tech Playground 7 of 10
    Tech Playground
    Google used SXSWi to create a playground where attendees can play with new Google related technologies.
    image source:
    image by: GenPink
  • Charge Station 8 of 10
    Charge Station
    At a tech event, power is everything. AT&T made a smart move creating a charging station.
    image source: instagram.com
    image by: GenPink
  • Event SWAG 9 of 10
    Event SWAG
    Who doesn't love swag? Here is what @l1sakimpson picked up at the SXSWi trade show.
    image source: web.stagram.com
  • Ball Pit 10 of 10
    Ball Pit
    WB put together a ball pit and dubbed it Tell-a-Vision. Attendees can get submerge in a ball pit and talk to the brand.
    image source: wired.com

Molly blogs technology, parenting and geekery at Digital Mom Blog.

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