By: Jen Miller, Senior Marketing Manager, Wake County Economic Development
A lot of time, effort, planning, and collaboration went into planning our entire activation at SXSW. Breaking through the noise and reaching attendees is extremely hard to do, but when you think about ways to effectively attract attention, relying on our name (Raleigh) proved to be main attractor.
Our booth was located between the Caterpillar Foundation, Texas A&M University, and El Paso, Texas, and positioned right on the main walkway of the trade show. Attendees could access our booth from three different points and could even stop for a quick rest and chat at our Raleigh red bistro chairs and table. As comfortable as the City of Raleigh is, our booth represented the same feeling: warm, friendly, and open.
Throughout the entire week, hundreds of conversations occurred within our booth. The conversations touched on topics like our innovation ecosystem, the corporate companies in the Research Triangle, our quality of life, the options residents have from housing to eating, and the importance of visiting a place like Raleigh to see just how incredible it is. We also talked about how dynamic our dynamic neighbors in the Research Triangle, including the growth in downtown Durham, the strength of the Research Triangle Park, and the welcoming vibe in Chapel Hill. We shared the depth of Wake County by talking about our municipalities and how each offers a different lifestyle for couples or families moving to the area.
We were extremely pleased with the engagement throughout the week and found that asking attendees to “Picture Yourself in Raleigh” was the perfect icebreaker that led to solid conversations. There were several quotes from the week that we wanted to share below:
“I have friends that live in Raleigh. They tell me it is the best place to live. I think I’ll have to visit.”
“I own a company outside of the U.S. but have five U.S. locations and am looking to expand. Raleigh is on my list.”
“I like the approach with this exhibit. Simple, easy, and welcoming. If that is what Raleigh is like, you nailed it.”
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Raleigh and the Research Triangle. What more can you tell me about the startup scene and notable companies in Raleigh?”
The opportunity to attend and represent at a trade show like SXSW in a competitor city like Austin, gave us fuel to come back and continue to elevate Raleigh, Wake County, and the Research Triangle region. We were proud to share the depth our market and how a city like ours operates best with the inclusion of all people. Raleigh is truly a reflection of the state’s motto “to be rather than to seem.”
While the booth may be packed up and shipping back to Raleigh, the story doesn’t end here. We are coming back to Raleigh with a new network of people wanting to stay engaged and interested in learning more about our community. Our mission to create a vision of how your life or your company could be in a place like Raleigh continues far beyond the trade show floor.
We look forward to sharing a full recap of our time in Austin, Texas.
Are you interested in joining our #PicRaleigh family? If so, sign up for updates on www.pictureyourselfinRaleigh.com. If you would like to see some of the new faces in Raleigh, search #PicRaleigh on Twitter and Instagram. Or check out our SXSW blogs here!
Special thanks to our dream design team at the Raleigh Murals Project & The Assembly: JT Moore, Jed Gant, Gino Reyes, Nikelle Orellana-Reyes, Mary Ann Bitter, Joshua Gajownik, Paul Tuorto, Tim Reavis, Katelyn Taylor, Mark McClawhorn, Sarah Faucette, Christian Tompkins, Marie Schacht, Tyler Northrup, Brett Dona, and Sarah Powers (City of Raleigh.)