I love South By Southwest. In fact, I love it so much that I’ll be referring to it as “South By” from this point forward. Our company is located in Austin, so every year productivity ceases to exist for a week as we start tossing around buzz words and rubbing shoulders with tech dudes and influencers.
As anyone who’s worth a damn will tell you, the first rule of South By is AB-RSVP — Always Be RSVP’ing. Naturally, when a coworker passed along an invite to “The Small Business Web SXSW,” I pulled my car over and immediately signed up. I love business, and I love the web. That’s my kind of party. Fast forward a week or so, and many of my coworkers, as well as my wife (I signed her up because I’m not a total deadbeat), received a rather awkward email that can only be described as a “Please don’t show up to our party, you peasant” email.
You RSVPed to an event I’m hosting at SXSW: The Small Business Web parties (Mar 11-13).
It’s come to my attention that there may be some confusion about the event. I’m writing to check in to make sure you have a clear idea what the event is and thus come with the right expectations.
This event is a private space for those in the cloud software industry to meet each other, network, and close deals. Unlike a typical SXSW party, if you only RSVPed for free drinks and not with a business objective in mind, I’m afraid it will be very awkward.
You can cancel your order through the ‘My Tickets’ page on the top right of your order confirmation email.
Could you tell me, please, if you’re still interested in attending the events?
Lois Matito, Member Services
The Small Business Web
That went to our CEO, our SVP of Sales & Business Development, noted TFM personalities WR Bolen & Roger Dorn, and our own Will deFries. It’s worth noting that I did not receive this email, and I don’t know what to make of that. I’ll just assume that they figured there’d be a trickle-down effect, and we wouldn’t show up either. I’m a company man, and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Let’s break this thing down.
It’s come to my attention that there may be some confusion about the event.
That’s interesting, because there’s actually no confusion on this end. Their own event invite states that “it’s the one place you know you can hang out and relax with the CEOs, CTOs, VP business development, VP marketing, investors, resellers, channels, distributors, and media in the industry.” Those are some major league titles. We RSVP’d to shake hands with key players and throw back free booze drinks because those two things always go together. I don’t know where this blowback is coming from, but I assure you that we’re not confused. More importantly, though:
How the hell did this come to your attention?
I’m dying to know who sounded the alarm on this, and why I somehow made the cut. If I’m losing my edge, I need to know about it. Alright, moving on.
I’m writing to check in to make sure you have a clear idea what the event is and thus come with the right expectations. This event is a private space for those in the cloud software industry to meet each other, network, and close deals. Unlike a typical SXSW party, if you only RSVPed for free drinks and not with a business objective in mind, I’m afraid it will be very awkward.
Private space sounds a lot like safe space to me. And how dare you even allude to the possibility that we don’t have a “business objective” in mind. Business is life. Life is business. This is how I start every phone call:
Seems a little insulting, imo. You see, we’re a real-life company. Yes, our flagship website is a frat blog, but we also sell funny t-shirts and other stuff. I know it’s crazy to think that, in 2016, we could be a real business, but it is. Also, we were founded in Austin and are still located here, so we’re very familiar with how this stuff works. And it’s nice that you’re trying to sell the party as the atypical South By event, but come on — there are like 10 of those that claim that every year, and they always end up being the typical SXSW party.
So what happened here? Was there an influx of Grandex (our parent company) RSVPs that set off an alarm? I’m guessing they looked us up, saw this, and freaked out at the thought of a bunch late-twenties dudes rocking tanks showing up to their party with NO BUSINESS OBJECTIVES IN MIND. Pretty sad that this kind of stuff still happens in 2016. SMH. We just wanted to network and feel important.
I don’t know what the move is here. Either way, I’m gonna South By so hard..