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By Joshua Belhumeur

SxSW 2017

We came. We saw. We ate BBQ.

BRINK flew out to Austin the weekend of March 10 to check out the spectacle of South by Southwest (SxSW). It’s been four years since we last had a presence there and this was my first time out. So I was eager to check out the scene. Here’s what caught my attention.

Best House: Das German Haus

SxSW is known for brand takeovers of event spaces and bars. We loved hanging out with our friends at the WeDC house and thought Fast Company had a classy AF operation. But our awards goes to the German Haus.

Open bar, amazing tech, interesting panels and a cool space off the beaten path. We loved the 3D audio presentation by a group called MediaApes and just might have to buy a Big Rep Studio 3D printer

Best Austonian: Jack 

We were sad to see former BRINK producer and Creative Tucson Director Jack move to Austin and loved catching up with him.

Favorite Conversation: Oh, the Humanity!

Over breakfast tacos and bloody marys, I talked with Tom from Alley Interactive about the Alexa and Google Voice developer ecosystem. The most fascinating bit was the notion of training Alexa to speak with natural voice inflections for the truly human experience. We will be checking out Tom’s Alexa plugin for WordPress so every morning I can wake up and ask: “Alexa, what’s going on at BRINK?”

Most Obnoxious Brand: Bravo

Bravo Network unleashed a hoard of “naked” people running around Austin screaming and making me feel bad about being off my diet. I’m sure it got them some attention, but the “sex sells” bit is lame.

Bravo Stripped

Party Animal Award: Chief

Our friends at Chief are known for their big SxSW bashes every year and this year did not disappoint, joining forces with Amazon AWS. The Gathering of the Go Go Nation even got me out on the dance floor, albeit with my 1/4 effort white guy shuffle. I’m secretly an incredible dancer but never unleash my gift to the world. I’m serious. No, really I am.

Foodie Award: Austin Taco Project

Their kitchen was backed up and it took us 2 hours to eat. But we were just killing time anyways and they rewarded our patience with free drinks the entire time. Ultimately the wait was worth it, these creative tacos were fucking delicious.

Coolest Activation: Nio Self-Driving Car

I heard rumors of an amazing Los Pollos Hermanos popup to promote the show Better Call Saul, but I never made it over there. So I have to give it to the little show room that Nio put together to showoff their self-driving concept cars. It was simple and understated space. But they gave me beer, a place to sit and slick european modernist design. What more could you want?

Best Souvenir: This Video

Caught on camera from an interactive trailer experience for the movie “Life”.


By Joshua Belhumeur