Write your fears down on a piece of paper. Fold it into a pirate hat, put it on your head. There, now you're a pirate [with] no fear.

Buy your badge now!!! | Interactive: March 11-15, 2016 | Film: March 11-19, 2016 | Music: 15-20, 2016 | Austin Weather

Trade Show Booth 101 Redux

Last year we posted our “Trade Show Booth 101: What registrants Really Want”. We thought it was worthy of an update/repost.

The SXSW Trade Show is a great place to network and learn about all the cool new companies with a message to share.  With that in mind we have come up with what we’d like to see from the Trade Show companies.

Booth Design

Booths should be inviting and allow for space for visitors to enter the booth instead of just talking across the table from the aisle. This allows for better traffic flow and provides for better interaction.


Some visitors will want to chat about the product, others may just want a pamphlet. To avoid scaring away the masses, don’t play used car salesman (ie; don’t jump on each visitor with a canned spiel). Instead introduce yourself and offer to answer any questions they may have.

SWAG(What everyone *really* wants)

We’ve seen every sort of SWAG, some that stick around and others that just get discarded. For the best impact and long lasting brand recognition, we suggest the following pointers:

Stuff we can use DURING SXSW:

  • Sharpies – either the regular ones or the baby ones. These are almost a necessity during SXSW and are guarded jealously
  • Pens – especially small “purse” sized ones, space and weight are a commodity (but Sharpies are better)
  • Small notebooks – not everyone comes prepared for class :)
  • Blistex – This is really useful, and if you use the name brand item it is more likely to be held onto past SXSW (ie lasting brand recognition)
  • Sunglasses – cheap is okay, there are going to be lost, broken, forgotten shades, and they will be retained past SXSW
  • Gum
  • Bandanas
  • Mini flashlights – most people just use their iPhone so these wind up in the trash when the battery dies. UPDATE: Last year we found a solar powered rechargeable one from the Angers France Film Commission. We love it and it’s still around.

Stuff we can use AFTER SXSW:

  • Bottle openers – unique shapes will catch the eye.
  • USB drives – these are a great resource. We’ve even seen some companies provide content on them, which is very useful, but don’t make it so that the drive cannot be formatted for general use after the content has been viewed, otherwise it winds up in the landfill.
  • Phone cases
  • T-shirts – These are always a favorite, but try to have “SXSW” somewhere on it, it’ll mean more and be less likely to wind up at Goodwill.
  • Reusable shopping bags

Stuff that doesn’t have staying power (stay away from this, if it is taken it will most likely not stay around long)

  • Lanyards – everyone already has one. Suggestion: pony up to sponsor official SXSW lanyards.
  • Mints – especially in non-recyclable containers
  • Hand fans
  • Stickers, magnets, sweatbands, guitar picks, lighters etc. (unless your marketing plan is to advertise on guitar cases)

2 Responses to “Trade Show Booth 101 Redux”

  1. [...] Last year we posted our “Trade Show Booth 101: What registrants Really Want”. We thought it was worthy of an update/repost. Read More … [...]

  2. [...] Trade Show Booth 101 Redux : SXSW Baby Last year we posted our “Trade Show Booth 101: What registrants Really Want”. We thought it was [...]