The Gang Goes to SXSW

Hi everyone, I’m Noah, a senior strategist at Illustrative Space. This past week the Illust team flew out to SXSW in Austin, TX to experience an incredible melting pot of culture and release our latest platform feature, Proof of Presence (PoP).

This was the first time that our entire team got together in person. We started this business during the pandemic and have been fully remote since. A few of us are based in Los Angeles and meet regularly but there’s no substitute for celebrating a team’s accomplishments in the company of everyone who made it possible. Shout out and thank you Will, Chris, Aaron, Future Rob, Tim, and Rob. This experience was my first time taking an idea to the product stage.

I got to Austin on Friday, along with most of the team, and didn’t know what to expect. SXSW is hard to wrap your head around and a bit overwhelming. There’s no mainstage or festival map. The speaker line-up spans art, politics, science, music, film, and many more. There are hundreds of panels, networking events, and parties. 

If I could sum up the festival in one hyphenated word, it would be cross-pollination. There were so many interesting people from all over the world. And everyone is friendly. People in Austin are approachable. Every barista or bartender is happy to start a conversation and that energy rubs off on everyone at the festival. I’ve never had such an easy time walking up to strangers and striking up a conversation. Everyone I met was open-minded and looking for new ways to push the envelope in their chosen fields.

Saturday and Sunday, we began to explore. One of the best parts of the weekend was the houses. Panels were not in stuffy hotel ballrooms but backyards, food trucks, and open bars. This casual setting made the relationships built there feel much more natural. The Tezos house and IPFS Hacker House were two of my favorites. 

Sunday night, we gathered the troops for our panel discussion and concert at Something Cool Studios. We demonstrated the ticketing use case for Proof of Presence by requiring a PoP to enter the event, one of the many ways creators can interact with fans through this technology. We also helped local muralists 3D scan walls they painted and mint them as NFTs(see below). We had a great turnout and got to see killer artists like Ed Balloon and Llyr in a relaxed backyard setting.

We took it easy on Monday and ended our trip with a team trip to Terry Black’s, a legendary barbecue spot, and some time at the Zoratopia Kickback/concert. 

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us at SXSW 2022. We will be back next year for more of the excitement.

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