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The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: SXSW

How to Increase Booth Visitors

Dave Delaney

One challenge of having a booth at any conference is getting people to visit. Talking to every visitor can often get tricky if you don't properly man your booth. I saw two great examples of booths driving foot traffic during South by Southwest this year. Volacci Automatr is a marketing automation company. I am not familiar with the service, but I was impressed with their clever tactic to tantalize us SXSW geeks. They made free flip books from your six second Vine videos. Once word got out about these fun flip books, hundreds of people paid them a visit. The front and back page of each book features information about the service. The last couple of pages are business cards, one for the flipbook maker and the other for Volacci's VP of sales. Clever.

I made a goofy vine video of me shedding a single tear for my homeland, Canada. When I came across the flipbooks, I made a vine video of the creation of my flipbook (yes, very meta).


My other favorite was TechSmith's fun puppet shows. They provided an array of Muppet puppets for booth visitors to use in front of their green screen. I was lucky enough to time my visit to the booth when author, Bryan Eisenberg, was there. Bryan offered to interview me about my book, New Business Networking.


What fun ways have you seen or used to increase traffic to a booth at a tradeshow?

Adventures of the Red Ninja at SXSW

Dave Delaney

Sam's Red NinjaWhen I was packing for my trip to Austin for South by Southwest, my son made a request. Sam had a serious look on his face as he handed me a little red Lego ninja. He told me to be sure I take it to SXSW with me. I stuck it in my pocket right away and assured him that I would. During the flight from Nashville, I had an idea. I would snap photos of the red ninja with the people I met and the places I went. You may have been curious why so many of my tweets and Instagram photos included the little plastic assassin with the hashtag #redninja.

The best part of the story is Sam had no idea I was doing this. I collected over fifty photos to show him the epic adventure we went on together. Both of my kids laughed as I showed them the photos.

An unintended outcome was the fun questions I received from people about the ninja. I instructed everyone to search for #redninja to check out the photos. The feedback I got was hilarious and encouraging. What a great conversation starter!

The red ninja got to see the cockpit of a plane, posed in the middle of 6th Ave, met a movie actor, read a great book, spun some vinyl, networked with fellow industry professionals, ate poutine, and much more. You can see the full set of photos here.

Did you meet the red ninja?

What to Do After SXSW

Dave Delaney

Dave Delaney and Jessica MurraySouth by Southwest Interactive 2013 is now a wrap. This was my first SXSW in two years. The conference has grown remarkably with 30,000 people in attendance this year. I hope that some of you took my advice before embarking to Austin. I had an amazing time catching up with old friends and making plenty of new ones. I also loved my Core Conversation, "Social Networking in Real Life", discussion with Jessica R. Murray. I was happy that we struck a good conversation with several of the attendees. Were you there? What did you think?

In C.C. Chapman's thoughtful recap post, he writes that SXSW is all about the networking. I couldn't agree more.

"People who focus on “the next great thing” or “the breakout app of SXSW” are missing the point of the conference and have bought into the hype."

Your important objective when you return home from the chaos is to follow up. I expect your week in Austin was spent meeting plenty of new people. I am happy that I have some potential new clients in the works, and I am thrilled to have made new friends too.

What to do after SXSW

The following are a few things you should do now while you're recouping from your BBQ induced coma:

- Review your business cards. Hopefully you kept track of where you met each person and what you talked about. In my post on tips for conferences, I remind you of a few things you should do BEFORE you go.

- Write a recap blog post and upload your photos and videos to a Facebook album, Flickr, or another photo sharing service. Be sure to tag everyone in the photos. We know that what happens at SXSW stays on the Internet, but refrain from putting up any "questionable" photos. You can see my photos here.

- Send a LinkedIn request to connect to each person you met. Do this by sending them a personalized note including a reminder of how you met. Be sure to include a link to your photo album or blog post, so they can visit your site/profile to learn more about you.

- Create a Twitter 2013 SXSW list of everyone you met . This will be handy to use to reconnect and keep track of your new and old SXSW friends. You can then grow those relationships and use that list to refer to when it's time for SXSW 2014.

- Follow up with an email if you have additional business to discuss. I recommend holding off about a week before sending them to allow the person to get caught up on their work-related mail. Most of us fall a little behind during the crazy week away. Inboxes are typically overflowing by the time we return to work.

If we met at SXSW, please connect with me on LinkedIn. You can also follow me on Twitter if you like. And now it's time for another nap.

32 SXSW Tips

Dave Delaney

I will be attending the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas from March 7th - 13th. Will you be there? Leave a comment if you plan to be please. This will be my first time back to SXSW in a couple of years. I am thrilled to be leading a Core Conversation on social networking in real life, or what I like to call "SNiRL". If you are attending, I would love to see you there. The details are available on Facebook or Plancast. Attendees will leave the session armed with tools and tips to improve their networking online and offline.

I first attended SXSW in 2007, and I have plenty of amazing stories that I will share with you one day. What all of the stories have in common is the incredible networking that takes place during this week-long technology festival. I have made many great friends over the years, and I can't wait to get back to do it again.

The following are 32 Tips for SXSW. Whether you are a new attendee or a veteran, I expect you will find these tips helpful to make the most of your week in Austin. I have a post with additional conference networking tips if you are interested too. I hope to see you at SXSW.