The trade show at SXSW has been a place I avoided my first four years attending the massive conference. I didn’t want to be selled to or looked at by pitiful eyes of those who had no visitors to their booths, and there were so many other things to do and learn around the conference. It just didn’t seem worth it. So when I finally crossed that threshold last year, I was amazed at the sophistication of the booths, the products and services available and the nice people working the booths. I was anxious to visit the show again this year.
And it did not disappoint. It overwhelmed. In fact, I am going to have to make another pass through today just to make sure I took it all in and take pictures of some of my favorite booths.
Yesterday, I was completely taken in by Wonderwoof. It is no secret that I am sucker for anything related to dogs. But the booth was amazing, the ladies working the booth were passionate, they had a spin-the-wheel for prizes game AND a guy sketching ink drawings of your dog for free. I stood in line, spun the wheel, and of course bought the product. And then stood in line again to get a sketch of Beatrice.
What is Wonderwoof? I’m still not exactly sure, but I was sold by their great presentation. From what I understand, it is a device in the shape of a cute bow tie (I ordered a pink one, naturally), that attaches to your dog’s collar. It syncs with a free app you download to your phone and tracks your dog’s activity, let’s you set reminders for medicine and grooming, and who knows what else. I will have to report back once I actually receive my order and start using it. It sounds like a Jawbone or FitBit for a dog.
The booth presentation, though, that was done so right. The women working the booth all wore matching dog-printed dresses. They were cheesy, but perfect. They worked the line, demoing the app. They asked each wheel-spinner about their dogs. They made sure to tell us it was a woman-founded and owned company. In short, these ladies were delightful.
The booth itself was completely custom to the Wonderwoof brand: carpet with paw prints and the Twitter handle, shelving to display the product in little blue Tiffany-like boxes, video demos running on screens and flyers with product information. There was no confusion as to what the focus of the business and product were.
When I made my way to the gentlemen sitting in a tiny purple tent drawing pictures of attendees’ dogs, I was equally as impressed. He had to be tired, but he was friendly, conversational and took a picture with his own phone of each sketch which showed me he was proud of the work he was creating. His shirt was covered in dog drawings and the sketches were done on the back of the product flyers (smart).
Though I spent a lot of time in lines at this booth, I was completely entertained. Now I hope the product can live up to the hype.