Organizing Spontaneous Parities at SXSW via Twitter

AltaVista Party @ Ginger Man

On Friday night at SXSW Interactive 2008, many people were asking me what was going on that night. Aside from the official party, there wasn’t much else happening. I ran into my good friend Mike Hudack, co-founder of, in the hallway of the convention center. On the spot we both decided to organize another spontaneous party based on the sucess last year’s Twittermob & Spontaneous Microsponsorships event held at Ginger Man on the last night of SXSW Interactive 2007. We both posted to Twitter that we were meeting up at Ginger Man around 10pm. It turned out that Ginger Man was too crowded so at the last minute we moved the party to Six Lounge and started to run a tab. The system worked well once again, with many people show up and filling up the bar.

Then on Saturday a few of us were standing in the huge line to get into the Google party, so we decided to host our own “AltaVista” party over at Ginger Man, spreading the word through Twitter. We even had a keynote speech, where Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom gave a talk about Babel Fish called “Lust in Translation”. Robert Scoble has the full story including video.

Ironically the 16 Bit party that we were co-hosting later that night ended up having a huge line itself due to the fact that the venue Scoot Inn was half the size of what it was last year (we had no idea that we had lost all of that space when we booked the party). In response to the line at our party and others, Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library and Wine Library TV organized his own successful spontaneous party promoted by Twitter.

So yeah, organizing spontaneous parties at SXSW via Twitter is the way to go.

UPDATE: Dan Fost references our AltaVisa party in his Fortune article about SXSW Interactive 2008: “Welcome to Conference 2.0″

photo by Scott Beale

Subscribe to Laughing Squid by email and receive a daily email with all our blog posts from each day.