(Originally written for honkfish)
SXSW is a haven for free food, drink, and promotional items. While some are a lot cooler than others…to me, if it’s free, I’m reading/wearing/taking it. Even though they attempted to Go Green this year with SXSwag, which I thought failed to deliver, considering it was a hotly debated topic, there was a ton of stuff to go around between trade shows and random street side promo tents. Here’s a run down of six awesome Swag items I received while at SXSWi (in no particular order).
At the Chevy Tweethouse I walked into Tom Dickson from BlendTec (Will it Blend?) and he was making margaritas from their blenders. After having one, I noticed there was a giant display of the Square reader, which I think is an awesome device. After grabbing one myself, Tom grabbed a handful and proceeded to try and blend them. To everyone’s surprise they held up well….mangled, but not shredded.
At the Mashable Geek Games there were displays from Pepsi Max, Skifta, Sony, and .TV who were sponsors of the events. The reps from .TV manned a Prize Wheel where you spun for a prize. They were giving out Sony Bloggies, which is awesome, but even though I didn’t win one, I was lucky enough to win a domain name for a year. Sure it’s only $12 to register a domain name, but the ability to have one on standby is kind of cool. A very SXSWi appropriate prize.
It’s no secret that lighters and live music go together. So when some eMusic guys walked up to a pack of smokers outside of the Apple Store at SXSW, it was all too perfect placement. That’s all there really is to say…but who actually uses eMusic on a regular basis?
At the trade show, Michael picked up this awesome bag from SonicBids, and left it for me when he flew out. It’s the perfect size to hold a day’s worth of digging at any record shop. Awesome bag, could be my favorite swag item.
Another gem, I received this amazing harmonica and talked jazz for a few minutes with a nice man from Mississippi. I really want to get down and check out the blues trail and maybe hear some concerts. Something to plan…
foursquare didn’t make it easy for their swag. Aside from the custom SXSW badges you could earn by playing foursquare all week, they had pins, stickers, and an amazing T-Shirt selection. While earning your “Play Foursquare with foursquare” badge, you could double up and win one of the awesome foursquare shirts by becoming mayor of the foursquare court. I made it both Friday and Saturday. By far the coolest shirt is the custom SXSW 2011 Shirt special for the event.
Honorable Mention: Sonos
Sonos, which is an Android enabled wireless speaker, had recharging stations set up around the town. These backpack-clad warriors stood around while people charged their phone. This led to some interesting conversations and awesome networking opportunities…especially when it’s midnight and all you want to do is find out which bar everyone is checking in at!
So that’s my recap of awesome swag items from SXSW. If you got some great swag items that I may have left out, go ahead and make me jealous by leaving a picture or description in the comments. I’m sure there’s some beauties that I missed.