Last year Squarespace reached out to me and to curate and launch a promotional event for the 2011 South by Southwest Interactive Festival. They wanted raise brand awareness and rightly thought a street food event would do just the trick!
The event took us around four months of fun yet challenging planning. And then, in March, we launched the Squarespace SXSW Food Truck, just a half a block from the heart of the festival! As with most planning, the final product was a mile away from the initial concept, and all for the better. What launched was a pop-up gourmand’s food truck serving truly outstanding eats from a rotating selection of Austin’s best street food vendors. All of the food was free, courtesy of Squarespace, and boy, was it a hit! Here are some highlights:
The event focused around a monster of a food truck, wrapped cleanly in black vinyl, and positioned against a striking red backdrop that wrapped an entire building in downtown Austin.
Each morning a line of conference attendees wrapped around the block, all patiently waiting in anticipation for the tasty treats they were about to receive. In all, the truck saw around 10,000 visitors in just four days.
The space also had a super fun photo booth, powered by Smilebooth, where folks could take food porn photos and enter to win giveaways like MacBook Airs and iPads.
But to me, the star of the show was the food. We weren’t going after just ‘OK’ food; we wanted the best. We looked at our truck as a way to deliver Austin’s hottest street eats to hungry attendees. The lineup was great. We had Franklin BBQ dishing out amazing pulled pork and chopped brisket sandwiches. East Side King, the brainchild of some wildly talented chefs from Uchi and Uchiko, made two styles of bao buns. Man Bites Dog did what they do best, amazingly delicious and creative hot dogs on fresh baked kolache buns. And Gourdough’s, who were crafting their signature doughnuts, just as deliciously hot and messy as ever!
After all was said and done, I think the event went off without a hitch. Everybody seemed to have an amazing time, and the food flew! One blog even said that Squarespace dominated food at SXSW! Amazing. What’s more, Squarespace has asked me to come back on this year to put together another killer event. Can’t say exactly what it will be yet, but stay tuned. It’s going to leave 2011 in the dust!