SXSWi’s growth is no more evident than by the conference’s Trade Show. I was shocked at the quadrupling in size and overall impact of this year’s nerd flea market over previous years. Carpeted aisle after aisle of web app peddlers and technical service providers awaited t-shirt seeking attendees. I’m pretty sure I got lost. Twice.
In search for a place to charge my phone (and maybe a beer), for about 45 seconds I was lured into one uncomfortably interesting booth display. It was my own fault. I made eye contact. Along with two other innocent passersby, I shuffled over to hear about the big idea – a live video chat service called Yowie, basically Skype.
I should stop quickly and mention that this web-based software may be a fantastic live video chat solution. It likely has features and purpose I’m completely ignoring. That’s not the point.
It goes without saying that the best way to demonstrate your live video chat is to do a live video demo. Well, Yowie came prepared.
In one massive exhibit hall, exposed to hundreds of exhibitors and amongst thousands of festival-goers, there we are. Three random attendees. Two Yowie salespeople. One Yowie technician. One laptop set up with video camera. And one Corey Feldman on the other end. Waiting.
You know that expression that somebody has as they sit in the dunking tank? Eagerly awaiting the assault, Corey looked out through the large screen display as three of us passed on the “opportunity.” It was an awkward and sad moment as a former fan of Mouth.
Later, when lost in the Trade Show, I was relieved to catch that Yowie found a couple of Feldman fans at SX. Ultimately, while I’m sure that there were many folks compelled to Yowie (I know it’s not a verb) with Corey, I’m curious if the buzz expectations were ultimately met.