SXSW Roundup – How to get noticed at big events

March 9, 2012

Here at SXSW it takes a lot to break through the excitement and the noise, there are so many things to check out and people to meet, so we try to be creative about getting noticed.  It meant our first day here at SXSW was a busy one! We had a jam-packed but successful day and wanted to share some of our event ideas to serve as inspiration:

1)  Be useful yet disruptive: The FreshBooks Shuttle Service

We rented three tour buses to shuttle folks from the Austin airport to the convention centre downtown. Shuttles were jam packed with people who received a warm welcome and free ride into town. It was awesome to be people’s first experience of SXSW and folks took lots of great pictures, tweeted and checked in on Foursquare about the lift.

2) Be the first event: The FreshBooks Ranch party

Since few events are happening the night before SXSW starts, we invited our network to come out to the beautiful 10-acre ranch we booked for our SXSW visit.

photo courtesy of Sue Holland –

We asked Austin’s famous Salt Lick BBQ to cater and turned our airport shuttle into a taxi to take people to and from the party. The maverick group of accountants wearing their CPA’s Gone Wild shirts were also in attendance recording a live Thrivecast!

A mechanical bull provided some wild entertainment that, along with some excellent food, steered people’s attention away from some rather unrelenting weather and towards their phones to tweet about the good times.

3) Make your swag fun and wearable: Top-notch goodie bags

The first 50 folks on the buses to the Ranch party received goodie bags (that we think will double as cool lunch totes) dreamed up by our talented design team. Inside were funky FreshBooks sunglasses, our unmistakable t-shirt, a book on entrepreneurship, and, to round it off, a Tootsie Roll Pop. Alas, we’re still waiting for the sun to come out so that the sunglasses come in handy (enough already, rain!).

This sounds like a lot of work and we would be lying if we said it wasn’t but any time spent with customers or around customers is time well spent and we’re so grateful by the excitement coming back to us by the people we are interacting with.
Stay tuned for more SXSW news!

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.