Filed under: Fun, General, Profile
South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, music festivals and conferences that happens once a year. This year, ASI is sending Jake Krolick, ASI’s creative director of marketing, to attend the festival to see promotional products in full effect. Find out why events like SXSW are so important to this industry and what you can expect to see from Jake’s journey.
Q: Why did you decide to attend SXSW?
JK: SXSW is the largest event of its kind. It’s all about discovery and what’s new, and a great way for me to showcase the promotional product industry in a real-world situation. I’m really excited about bringing back good content and showing it to this industry.
Q: How are promotional products used at SXSW?
JK: Promotional products are everywhere. We will see them from different bands, at merchandise tables and at parties. A lot of companies sponsor day parties and have items that are branded with their logo. For example, Jack White is having The Third Man Record party where they have items they will be giving out, and for purchase, that you can only get at SXSW. The party also has a gift bag with T-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers - all items to promote themselves. Rachael Ray also has a day party where she has food and music and she hands it all out in Rachel Ray-branded cups.
Q: Why are events like SXSW so important to this industry?
JK: It’s important for the industry to be aware of events like SXSW. This specific venue launches products, ideas and music all in one, but it shows us what will trend for the next year. It’s not just SXSW, it’s other major event like the X Games, New York Fashion Week, the Olympics. It’s important for the industry to see what comes out of these events.
Q: What is one of the top promotional products at SXSW?
JK: The hottest item right now is a wristband. The reason the wristband is so hot is because there are non-stop parties and only a limited number of people can attend. The people who are lucky enough to attend get a wristband to get into one of these sold-out shows. So these people are getting the hottest item without really knowing they are getting a promotional product.
Q: What are you most excited for outside of promotional products?
JK: Besides for all the content I will bring back, I am excited about the music. Besides working at ASI, I have been working in the music industry for 20 years. I am a huge music snob, so I am excited to see a few bands that I have never seen live before, such as Together Pangea, Gardens & Villa, and Plastic Visions. I do have a Spotify profile, so if anyone is interested they can follow me.
Q: What content will you bring back from SXSW?
JK: Be on the lookout for photos of different promotional products from different bands, merchandise tables, and parties. I will also produce eight videos. For example, I will interview three bands about how they promote themselves, and two publicists on how they find new products to promote the bands and why they pick the things they do.
Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see photos and videos from SXSW.