This year, Mirrored Media partnered with Builder by Engineer.AI for a multi-weekend activation at SXSW 2019. Over the course of this legendary two-week conference, our unique collaboration spanned interactive, film, music, technology, and more.
The central element of our Builder SXSW experience was the pop-up Builder Lab, located at 318 E. 5th Street, which acted both as a focal point for guests and as our base of operations during both weekends of the conference. Comprised of a sleek glass-and-steel structure and a private party tent housing a luxurious VIP lounge, this Lab was the ideal way for SXSW visitors to discover the power of Builder and begin the creation of their own personalized app.
Our self-contained primary structure’s exterior was outfitted with eye-popping custom signage, flags, mounted screens running looped content, and laser-cut lettering guaranteed to draw a crowd. Once inside, SXSW guests met with our Builder product specialists, who introduced them to the platform and used an array of installed iPads to walk them through the steps of developing their app ideas. The air-conditioned structure was a high-tech escape from the crowded streets of SXSW, while also providing an engaging first encounter with the Builder brand.
Once guests learned about the platform, further conversations could then be moved to our VIP lounge directly adjacent to the glass-and-steel structure, tucked behind a chic hedge wall enclosure. Featuring genuine wooden flooring, foliage, iPads connected to flat-screen TVs, and comfortable furniture, this lounge was the perfect place to discuss next steps in developing new apps. Guests had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Builder project managers and executive staff to begin the intuitive process of creating an account and bringing their app concept to life.
Brand ambassadors scattered throughout the city of Austin, wearing shirts and hats emblazoned with the Builder logo, helped drive even more guests to the Lab by giving out custom laminates with information on the Lab and App respectively. As they interacted with a range of conference-goers, our team also managed multiple promotional activations, with Builder-centric prizes and discounts available for winning guests.
The next major element of our Builder SXSW experience involved partnering with world-famous magazine The FADER on their exclusive annual festival-within-a-festival FADER FORT. This elite three-day showcase featured performances by Big Boi, Japanese Breakfast, Megan Thee Stallion, and many more up-and-coming artists. There was no public RSVP, and the private RSVP backend provided by Builder completely revolutionized the FADER FORT check-in process.
As the future of app development, Builder was the perfect partner to create a new customized check-in app for this infamously popular event. Utilizing their advanced AI software, Builder quickly designed a smooth-running check-in process for the roughly 5,000 FORT guests at two seperate locations; General Admission check-in by Volcom Garden, with 11 on-site staff members, and VIP check-in at Prohibition Creamery, with 4 on-site staff members. Both check-in sites were open from 11-5 on Tuesday through Friday of SXSW.
Selected guests were sent a QR code, which they were able to scan with provided tablets in exchange for entrance wristbands. As a result of Mirrored Media and Builder’s involvement, the notoriously unwieldy FADER FORT check-in process was streamlined to the point that Twitter lit up with positive tweets about our platform, and #FaderFort was trending on both Twitter and Reddit during the festival. Many guests expressed surprise and amazement that what had been a multi-hour line in past years was transformed into such an efficient process – and all thanks to our partnership with Builder.
At the same time as our collaboration unfolded at FORT, Builder continued their relationship with the Miles Davis Estate for the return of the Miles Davis House. Held at Antone’s on March 15th, this live music event featured performances by the Miles Electric Band, Striking Matches, David Wax Museum, and more. We provided a custom check-in app that smoothly allowed over 1,000 guests to access the experience, as well as personalized Builder signage featuring custom art and photos of the legendary artist himself. These acted as our press wall in both the upstairs artists’ area, and downstairs in the General Admission area.
Together, these three aspects resulted in an interconnected guest experience that became the buzz of SXSW. We engaged with both veteran conference-goers and newcomers at every level through our custom-created content, advanced technology, and one-on-one personal meetings. This was experiential innovation at a city-wide scale – allowing us to bring together some of the top brands and events at SXSW for a single, unified activation that everyone could enjoy.