SXSW 2014: That’s a Wrap!
WordPress.com and the South by Southwest festival — now there’s a potent mix! Take a peek at some of the highlights from a memorable SXSW.
Wow…what a week that was! After much anticipation, we’re winding down and reflecting on what was another epic SXSW (South by Southwest).
If you were in Austin, Texas, for this year’s festival, you probably interacted with a WordPress.com team member at the trade show, on a panel, or at one of our sponsored events. If you weren’t able to make it, here are some of our highlights.
We had a couple of top-notch folks representing WordPress on Interactive panels this year. Matt Mullenweg (WordPress Co-Founder and Automattic CEO) discussed the future of open source, while Lori McLeese (Automattic HR Lead) shared her thoughts on working for a distributed company. Both panels generated thoughtful conversations around these relevant, meaningful topics.
At the Expo
We were excited to unveil our new trade show booth this year at SXSW. The booth included our staple Swag and Happiness Bars staffed by the WordPress.com team, along with some local Austin community members.
Over the years we’ve become known for our Born in Texas T-shirts. Our 2014 edition sported the WordPress logo encased in the state of Texas on the front, and with the phrase “Born in Texas, Globally Grown” on the back. Based on the long lines and eager demand, this year’s design didn’t disappoint! In addition to the T-shirts, this year we threw some fun new WordPress sunglasses into the mix. Over the four days of the tradeshow, we had a constant stream of people lining up to get their goodies and show their WordPress pride. We’re happy that over 5,000 people made their way through the line and took home some awesome swag!
On the other side of the booth, our Happiness Engineers kept busy talking shop. The Happiness Bar is our opportunity to meet with existing and potential users, see what folks are working on, and even do a little troubleshooting. The Happiness Bar is one of our favorite things about participating in conferences. We meet so many enthusiastic users and learn about all the interesting ways people are using the platform that we love!
Rather than throwing a big party this year, we decided to pull together a series of smaller events. We hosted these events at a private residence just outside of downtown. The array of activities included afternoon get-togethers to discuss the future of digital, a Childish Gambino Deep Web Hackathon, rooftop concerts with Young & Sick and Mahaut Mondino, dinners prepared by Top Chef alum Chris Crary, and two uniquely intimate backyard concerts with Nipsey Hussle and Childish Gambino.
We’d like to give a shout-out to Gigit, Kitchit, Homejoy, and Smilebooth for their part in helping to make the WordPress.com House a pretty spectacular experience for all involved.
On Sunday night, we were excited to be one of the sponsors of the DC All-Star Event at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop. The party was packed wall-to-wall with over 400 people from the Washington DC tech community and their friends. You can check out a few photos from the event here!
As you’ve probably heard by now, we are presenting Childish Gambino’s Deep Web Tour. As part of the tour, he performed a free show for more than 15,000 lucky fans at Austin’s Butler Park on Saturday night! (If you aren’t yet familiar with Childish Gambino, the name Donald Glover may ring a bell. Not only is he a highly acclaimed musician, he’s also one of the stars of NBC’s hit sitcom Community and was a writer on 30 Rock.)
Well, that’s a wrap for SXSW 2014. We may be exhausted, but we couldn’t be more thrilled with the week we had in Austin. We can’t wait to do it all again next year. Hope to see you there!