When you’re on the conference trail as an attendee or exhibitor, it’s easy to get a wee bit weery and “overdone” when it comes to yet another convention. So when SXSW V2V arrived on the scene, we were still buzzing from the deafening hoopla that was SXSW in March and intitially weren't convinced we should exhibit. Yet, there promised to be something a little different about V2V that begged our attention.
First of all, Las Vegas was its home. Score a big point for making it more economical for a Vegas-based startup. Second, its slogan promised a focus on innovation, visionaries, ventures, VCs and productive conversations. Well played. Third, we’re suckers for startup spotlight-type events. Such as: SXSW, CES, DemoVegas and TechCocktail to name several we've attended. Fourth, VegasTech friend Gabe Shepherd and V2V Community Liaison encouragd us to join the festivities. OK, so VegasTech at SXSW was a hit, so score another for "yes." Plus, when a conference is innovative enough to feature a 12-year-old developer and his father in a session, you know good things are in store.
Being the resilient startup folks that we are, we dove head first into the opportunity to exhibit at the Startup Spotlight last Monday and to take out an ad in the inside back cover of the program booklet. Despite those wins, the quiet cynic in me didn’t expect much from a summertime conference-going crowd inhabiting one of the most party-notorious hotels in the world. Nonetheless, I brushed those notions aside and showed up with the best intentions and a smile on my face.
As the start of the spotlight rolled around at 3:00pm, the registration lobby went from eager startups setting up shop to a trickle of fresh-faced attendees, quickly escalating by 3:30 to an eager flood and ending in a roar, well after the 6pm closing time. (Perhaps the adjacent open bar should be credited for helping the spotlight to end on such a high note). Regardless, any doubt about the spotlight's viability for a startup was squashed. And that was just one event of the week’s mega-schedule. It was an important one for us, though, as we publicly debuted our community publishing product to attendees via the ad and the spotlight.
What was truly refreshing was the authentic interest in what Tracky does that the majority of our booth-goers showed. An exhibitor can get a little self-conscious about their pitch when it’s delivered hundreds of times to folks that are probably more interested free swag or a novel game rather than learning about a productivity and publishing platform. We were pleasantly surprised by the smiling faces, intriguing questions, patient onlookers, sincere well wishes and legitimate leads that came out of the event.
There were some solid technologies at the spotlight and it was an honor to be among them. The buzz was nicely captured in this Vine that our #VegasTech startup pals at Alice Receptionist created. Their virtual reception system is an impressive Vegas-built product that we know is solving a real need for resources-strapped companies and large organizations, plus it’s a product that we believe will be very successful and around for the long-haul. Also in attendance was Vegas-based child care location assistance app,,Cubby Road.
The rest of the show was well done, too. Much of our time at the Cosmo was spent networking so we didn’t get to as many sessions as we would have liked, but to all who planned, sponsored, spoke, mentored, attendees and exhibited – thanks for making SXSW’s first foray into Las Vegas a success!
We would love to see more of SXSW and similar events happen here in Vegas. We’re looking forward to the Life is Beautiful festival in October, where I’m sure that more good intentions and pleasantly surprised responses will result.
Thank you to all who made Tracky part of your V2V experience and who cared enough to stop and smile back at the big smiley mark staring back at you and the three humans who were thankful for your interest.