We went. We saw. We conquered. We also devoured a ridiculous amount of barbecue and traversed the streets of Austin with two sumo wrestlers in tow (more on that later). It’s fair to say that SXSW was unlike any other conference we’ve been to, and we can’t wait to go back and rock it again next year. So without further ado, here’s our highlight reel from SXSW 2012.
The Room 77 Sumo Wrestlers
It was hard to miss the Room 77 crew at SXSW. Day in and day out, our team was gallivanting around Austin with our Room 77 sumo wrestlers. Yup, you read that right: sumo wrestlers. As part of our SXSW promotional efforts, we put two guys into inflatable sumo wrestler suits (no simple feat, we tell you) and hit the streets of Austin to show SXSW attendees that when it comes to offering the lowest hotel prices and the fastest, most comprehensive hotel search, we’re kicking the competition’s butt. We made such an impression, in fact, that we landed ourselves a spot in Entrepreneur’s article “The Best Promos of SXSW 2012.”
In addition to making a spectacle on the streets of Austin, we also hosted a Twitter promotion with the hash tag #SXSumo. If conference attendees tweeted a photo of or with our sumo wrestlers, they were automatically entered into our Las Vegas Suite Giveaway. The grand prize was a two-night stay in a Las Vegas hotel suite, but we also gave away tons of swag bags with goodies like drink coupons to the W Austin and Burt’s Bees products. Congrats to Rob Wolf for scoring the grand prize. You can see his winning photo here. And for a small dose of the sumo madness, check out the collage our talented production manager Syed made.
The Trover Live Graffiti Party
As we mentioned in a previous SXSW post, Room 77 teamed up with Trover to show the city of Austin how we keep it real on the West Coast. And we’re not exaggerating when we say that the Trover team knows how to throw a party. We swung by their Live Graffiti Party at the East Side Drive-In for a few free drinks, some tunes and to watch Austin street artists create some amazing new pieces. Partygoers were even encouraged to tag the walls of Trover’s urban art gallery. Adjacent to the Trover party, our friends at Hotel Tonight were kicking back in their slick airstream, so needless to say, this party had enough cool to keep it going well into the evening. Check out our Trover profile if you haven’t already — we have lots of great Austin hotel tips and photos.
The “Crowdsource This! Harnessing the Crowd for Content” Panel
We were honored to have our very own founder and chairman Brad Gerstner speak on the Crowdsource This! panel alongside Rich Barton, co-founder and executive chairman of Zillow, and Jason Karas, CEO of Trover. Together they addressed the pros and cons of employing user-generated content, and discussed how companies can leverage this unique content to help build their business. The panel was packed and the crowd was thoroughly engaged — kind of hard not to be with a trio of heavy hitters like that. Here’s a snapshot of Brad hanging out with our sumo wrestlers.