Tradeshow and Event Tips from SXSW

SXSW 2014 logo

SXSW – the huge music, film and technology festival – wrapped up just over a week ago in Austin, TX. It’s always fun to see which acts, movies and gadgets get the most buzz, but we were particularly interested this year, since we made some awesome custom-designed banners for Tumblr, the booming micro-blogging site. 

As we were keeping an eye on all the action down in Austin, we noticed a few tips and tricks that could help your company stand out from the crowd at your next trade show or event. Read on for our takeaways from SXSW 2014!

Change It Up

SXSW grows every year; do they attract those increasing numbers by presenting the same thing year after year? No. SXSW books new musical acts, premieres new films, and presents the latest gadgets every March. Take this lesson to heart when putting together the plan for your trade show booth or event space – don’t show up with the same standard setup and hope for new, improved results.

We’re not saying you have to start from scratch every time trade show season rolls around, but make sure to spice up your table or booth with something new and attention grabbing. Check out our stretch mural table covers to make sure your table stands out, and use MVP’s banner blades (also called bow flags) to grab event-goers as they’re passing.

Keep Costs Down

Like the rest of us, SXSW has been forced to weather some hard economic times. The festival started in 1987, and we all know that the past decade has been tricky financially. But SXSW has figured out a way to keep their costs down and continue on regardless – they require all bands to pay their own expenses and travel costs, and keep compensation minimal.

The lesson here is obvious. If you’re spending big to get a big result at your next event, that can pay off. But imagine spending small and still getting that big result – your ROI would be through the roof! Shopping around for the best deal is important, which is why MVP is happy to work with you on custom quotes for whatever you need. We don’t require minimum quantities, and don’t charge any setup or layout fees for design or customization, so you can keep expenses down for all your events or tradeshows.

Go Big and Cover All the Bases

There’s a reason that SXSW stands out in comparison to all the other music festivals around the country and the world: it’s not just a music festival. With film and TV series premieres, keynote speakers, live tapings of talk shows, a tech trade show, and new gadget debuts, SXSW is most definitely covering all the bases. By doing so, they can draw in more visitors and gain a lot more buzz.

Many trade show booths and event tables seem to be sticking to the KISS rule (Keep it Simple, Stupid). While that might be a good rule of thumb in most areas of life, a very simple booth or display will just not stand out, and won’t appeal to the wide range of event-goers you’ll want to attract. Don’t overlook the add-ons that can really help your space pop for visitors – we’d suggest a bright custom fabric pop up to grab eyeballs. If your event is outside, you can’t beat a custom tent for drawing attention.


SXSW might be over for this year, but the season for trade shows and events is just around the corner. With our fast turnaround times and tons of one-on-one personalized assistance, we can help your company get ready to really stand out. Get in touch or look around our online shop to see what we can do for you!

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